“Disappearing” Messaging Apps New Trends
With 158 Million Daily users, Snapchat messenger is one of the most popular apps in the world. It’s “Disappearing” message feature was a key part of it’s early success with users reporting that they felt freer and safer using the app than say Facebook, where they felt their posts would have a longer life and be seen by people they didn’t intend.
The popularity of Snapchat has spawned a whole lot of Snapchat style copy cat apps and encouraged existing messaging apps to “get with the program” and introduce their own “Disappearing” messages and cute filters. “Disappearing” messages are available in Apple Messenger through their add on apps , Instagram Disappearing live video and messages, Facebook Messenger, and many other messaging apps you have probably never heard of..
Disappearing messages are clearly here to stay, so what should parents do?
Educate your children and teens about only sharing respectable content. Remind them that nothing ever disappears from message apps, all content can be captured and passed on via screen capture if nothing else.
Safer Messaging Apps?
Skype is still one of the safest message apps for families to use, IF you ensure the privacy settings are all set to the strictest settings. For parents of younger children you might like to share an account for supervision, and Skype has less “add ons” than most other message apps.
Apple Messenger now has all sorts of 3rd party apps within it, including disappearing message “add ons” but most kids will use the apple message app just as a straight up message app. My post on Apple Messenger explains where the “Add Ons” are.
Instagram and Snapchat?
- Make sure the privacy settings are set so that only their followers can see their snaps and content. It helps protect them from dodgy followers.
- Rated 13+ both apps have 17+ content easily accessible and unblockable. Any child can easily use the discovery features available in either app and come across very adult content.
- All messages can be copied and shared on, don’t rely on the message disappearing.
- Teens that use these apps have to understand the possible repercussions of sharing sensitive or explicit content.
- Make sure your teen knows that they can come to you, and SHOULD come to you if they are bullied or approached by a stranger on any app.
- If your child feels they have made a mistake online they need to know they can come and tell you about it without any severe repercussions.