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Snapchat Primer for Parents

Numerous surveys show that Snapchat is one of the most used messaging apps by teens, but many parents have never used the app. In case you are not aware, Snapchat is an application for mobile devices, where photo and video messages disappear after they are viewed by the recipient. To help parents get up to speed on the app, USA Today has created a primer, or a Snapchat 101 for parents. The primer covers what the app is, what it does and why it is so popular. It also covers why many parents are concerned about this app (the disappearing content has been known to foster sexting and cyberbullying) and suggests ways to protect teens who use the app. If you find the article useful, you might also want to check out USA Today’s intro for parents to, an ultra addictive lip syncing app.

“Secret Conversations” On Facebook

Recently, Facebook started rolling out a beta version of a new feature in their Messenger app that they're calling "secret conversations." Basically, it is end-to-end encrypted messaging that, in theory, doesn't allow anyone — not even Facebook — to intercept the messages. It's Facebook's attempt to compete with other messaging apps like WhatsApp, which provides a very high level of security and is attractive to global audiences, especially young people.

At first, the feature will only be available to a small percentage of users for testing, but everyone else should get it in the late summer or early fall. Of course, there's a catch: users will have to "opt-in" to the service, meaning for most people, Facebook will still be able to rifle through your info and deliver those personalized ads which sometimes come across as kind of creepy. It is also be interesting to see if these “secret conversations” play a part in cyberbullying and sexting.