Snapchat does Snapkidz

I must be horribly old and terribly boring. The prospect of sharing ephemeral photos with my friends via Snapchat doesn't hold that much appeal. Lots of 13 to 23 year olds love it, though, and plenty of under-13s would love to love it, but can't for legal reasons. (For Snapchat to send these young people's messages, they would have to collect personally identifying information without their parents' consent. That's not permissible under the Children's Online Privacy Proetction Act.) To meet their legal obligations, then, Snapchat has introduced Snapkidz. Pre-teens can sign up to the app and will be able to take photos, to edit them, and to scribble on them; they just can't send them. Instead they'll be saved to the camera roll. Then of course they can be sent by SMS or iMessage, but Snapchat won't be storing these young people's data. And when they do turn 13, their worlds can be augmented with spontaneously deleting messages. Or they could just lie about their ages when they sign-up but I'm sure that no one would be that nefarious.

Snapkidz is available just as an iOS update at the moment. If it proves popular, an Android roll-out might be considered.