Snapchat is an app that is hugely popular among young people. The app allows users to send photos and videos to their contacts and create ‘streaks’. But what does this mean?
How does Snapchat work?
Snapchat is a messaging app that allows users to share content, such as photos, texts and videos, i.e. ‘Snaps’. Snaps only appear for a matter of seconds before disappearing from users' screens.
You can choose to send a ‘Snap’ directly to one other person, or you can post it on your ‘Story’ so that it can be viewed by all of your contacts.
Your contacts are able to view this for 24 hours before it is deleted from your account.
What is a streak?
Streaks count how many consecutive days two people have been sending Snaps to each other. Every day they send a Snap their streak gets longer.
How do you know if you have a streak?
A streak is shown next to a contact’s name on the Snapchat app. A streak is symbolised by a little picture of a flame and the number of days the streaks has gone on for. Only the two people involved in the streak can see this.
Why are young people so interested in streaks?
Streaks give users a sense of competition and friendship. A lot of young people want to get streaks to rivals their friends, or to show that they have a very close friendship with a particular contact.
However, there can be pressure to respond on a daily basis and it may affect their self-esteem if they feel that others have stronger friendships.
Tips for parents and carers
Have a conversation - A simple and effective way to get involved with your children and their lives online is through discussion. Ask them about what they like about Snapchat and other apps that they use, keeping an ongoing conversation with your child about their internet usage is a key way to help them navigate the online world safely. You could talk about the pressures they may face and reassure them they can always talk to you. Read our conversation starters for help .
Have a go on Snapchat yourself! – create your own profile and have a look at the safety features that are available. You can see what you like about different aspects of the app and gain a better understanding of why your child may like using it. Having this base knowledge of the app will help you if your child ever comes to you with an issue.
See our other Snapchat blogs about
Reporting within Snapchat stories
Introducing Location sharing and the settings within Snapmaps