Snapchat introduces service for kids, initially on iOS, as it seeks to expand its user base

92184657-645x250Photo-sharing app Snapchat has released a version for kids in its iOS update over the weekend, as it seeks to capture another group of users previously left out – the under-13 year-olds.

In a blog post, Snapchat said the new iOS version will allow kids under the age of 13 to fill out the registration form, but the user information won’t be sent to Snapchat and an account won’t be created. Instead, they will only be able to use what is called “Snapkidz” – a version of Snapchat that includes an interface for taking pictures, adding captions, drawing and saving them onto the device, but won’t allow the users to send or receive snaps or add friends.

Snapchat explained its rationale for doing this:

The previous iOS update introduced age-gating, in which we asked people their age on the registration screen and didn’t allow them to proceed if the age entered was under 13. This was a pretty standard way of handling things, but it didn’t provide a very good experience.

For now, Snapkidz is only available on iOS. The company says if all goes well, there will be an upcoming Android update to include this latest feature.

Snapchat is well on its way to becoming one of the most popular publishers in the App Store, despite only offering a single app to iOS users, according to a recent report by app ranking and intelligence firm App Annie. A Techcrunch report yesterday said Snapchat had raised an $80 million Series B round – led by Institutional Venture Partners – at an $800 million pre-money valuation.

Headline image via Thinkstock


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