Social networking platforms have always been a numbers game, from “engagement” numbers to “friends” numbers. The latter is sometimes used as a bragging right, showing how many followers or friends you have collected. In some cases, it’s virtually impossible for you to actually know all of those personally, and, sometimes, those can even be liabilities. Snap, once popular for its strong privacy features, is now rolling out a feature that will remind its users to keep their friends lists regularly in check.
Although it seems to have been largely eclipsed by its rivals both old and new, Snapchat once carried the public’s favor because of its strong privacy safeguards that protected its users. Of course, that also emboldened those same users to share compromising images or videos which, despite those security measures, still managed to leak out. That’s because while Snapchat itself may have strong privacy measures, it can’t always vet everyone you added as a friend.
That is why the company is now offering a regular reminder to only keep people they can trust on those lists. Friend Check Up will prompt users to review their friends, some of which may no longer really be friends or have forgotten who they even were. The feature will make it easy to prune that list, without even alerting the other party.
Who’s on your friend’s list is critical in Snapchat since some features are enabled only for those who have mutually added themselves as friends. Others work on the assumption that people in a group are real friends, not just a friend of a friend of a friend. Snapchat’s safeguards pretty much breakdown if the user doesn’t make sure there aren’t weak links in the chain.
Friend Check Up will be coming to Android in the coming weeks and on iOS in the coming months. This is the network’s latest contribution to Safer Internet Day this year, along with partnerships with the Trevor Project for LGBTQ+ youths and MindUp for parents.