Snapchat Debuts SnapKidz, A Sext-Free App For Kids Under 13

The app that lets you send self-deleting messages and subsequently gained a reputation as a sexting hotbed has created a G-rated version called SnapKidz, designed for users under 13.

Snapchat, the photo and video messaging app whose automatic-delete feature gave it a hard-to-shake reputation as a sexting app, has released SnapKidz, a version of the app for users under the age of 13. The catch: Underage users can't actually share content with others on SnapKidz.

SnapKidz lives within the iOS version of Snapchat and activates when an under-13 user fills out a registration form. SnapKidz doesn't support sharing media with friends—which is sort of the whole point of using Snapchat—but still allows users to take snaps, caption and draw on them, and locally save their creations to their device.

Hillicon Valley's Brendan Sasso notes SnapKidz faces a unique set of FTC regulations via the Child Online Privacy Protection Act, or COPPA, which restricts websites, appmakers, and other data collectors from plucking personal information from children under 13.

A COPPA breach got the private social networking app Path in trouble with the FTC in February, when a bug that allowed Path to collect personal information from users under 13 garnered the company an $800,000 fine from the FTC.

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