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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