Recently Snapchat released an update which saw the inclusion of new features including limitless snaps and a video loop tool. This blog looks at these new features and gives advice for those who may be concerned.
Snapchat is a messaging app that is popular with young people, it allows them to share user-generated photos, texts and videos, ie ‘snaps’. Once a ‘snap’ is sent to someone else, it can last on the screen of the receiver for a matter of seconds before disappearing. Within Snapchat there is a feature called a ‘story’ where you can put your ‘snaps’ on your ‘story’ that your contacts are able to view for 24 hours, after this 24 hours is over the snapstory is deleted from your account and can’t be viewed again. For those wanting to know more about the basic features of Snapchat the SWGFL have created this Snapchat guide and checklist.
Limitless snaps and looped videos
Limitless snaps is a new setting which allows users to set their snaps so that they stay on screen for as long as the viewer wants to look at them. This is accessed by changing the timer length to infinity before sending a snap. This is done by selecting the ∞ sign on the timer before sending a snap.
Snap inc, owner of Snapchat, explain the reasoning behind this newest feature.
‘We’ve all felt the frustration of not being able to fully enjoy a Snap – even after replaying it – and we wanted to give you the option of allowing the recipient to enjoy your Snap as long as they’d like. After your friend finishes viewing the Snap and taps to close it, it will delete as usual.’
The second new feature on Snapchat is the ability to ‘loop’ videos. This allows a video to be re-watched anywhere from one to 100 times. The video only goes off screen once the person receiving it decides to click off it.
After the recipient of either of these types of snap clicks off the image or video it will disappear like a normal Snapchat, but this new feature does pose its own risk. Giving a viewer longer to view the snap could allow them to show more people what has been sent, or to take a photo of the image on another device.
Our advice for parents around these issues is to have a conversation around sharing content online and to encourage young people to think before they post. Talk to your child about online privacy, and sharing content, ensure that they know that once any image has been sent, it is then out of their control. Even if they think they can trust the person that they’ve sent it to, it could be shared with others or posted elsewhere online. Although Snapchat can sometimes feel like a fleeting medium to many young people it’s important that they still treat it as they would any other online networking site and remember that if they wouldn't be happy with their content being shared publicly, then they are better not sharing it at all.