Snapchat restricts apps with new policies

Snapchat’s parent company has banned anonymous messaging apps that facilitated cyberbullying and vowed to renew its policies to address any kind of platform experiences that can be built with its developer tools.

The company bans anonymous messaging apps and requires anyone who builds friend-finding apps to limit these apps to users 18 and over. Existing developers are given 30 days to comply with the new policies.

These changes are limited to third-party apps integrated with Snapchat and are not intended to address other child safety issues across the platform.

The company says the policy update affects a small subset of its community of more than 1,500 developers. About 2% of developers are affected by the ban on anonymous messaging apps.

The apps are used more often for dating or texting purposes, not looking for friends. Law enforcement officials and child safety experts have warned for years about pedophiles on Snapchat.

Banning anonymous messages and restrictions on search apps are the two main policy changes. But the company notes that developer apps still have to go through a review process. They have to answer questions about use cases and offer suggested integrations.

The company also said it conducts periodic reviews every six months to ensure that apps’ functionality hasn’t changed in a way that violates its policies. She added that any developer who intentionally seeks to deceive her is removed from Snap Kit and the developer platform altogether.

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