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Snapchat Bans Anonymous Messaging From Third-Party Apps

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Snap is banning anonymous messaging features from third-party apps that integrate with its platform over concerns that they could be used for bullying and harassment. The change comes after a lawsuit last year sought to hold Snap liable for misuse of its platform linked to the death of a teenager who was being bullied on two Snapchat-connected apps. The third-party apps, Yolo and LMK, both had anonymous messaging features and were suspended by Snap shortly after the suit was filed.

From now on, third-party apps that want to let folks communicate through a Snapchat integration will need to have registered users with visible usernames and identities.  The company said that it is rolling out several changes as per the review and believes the changes, “are in the best interest of our community, and further aligned with our focus of supporting communications that reflect real-life friendships.”

The company is also restricting friend-finding apps, that will now only be accessible by Snapchatters over 18. Snap says this change was made to protect younger users on the platform and was more, “consistent with Snapchat’s use case – communications between close friends who already know each other.”

Here’s what Snapchat had to say about its new policy via a blog post:

“First, we will prohibit applications that facilitate anonymous messaging from integrating with our platform. During our review process, we determined that even with appropriate safeguards, anonymous applications present a risk of abuse that cannot be mitigated at an acceptable level”.

“While we know that most Snapchatters use these anonymous integrations in a fun, engaging, and perfectly appropriate way, we believe that if some users are anonymous, they may be more likely to engage in harmful behavior, such as bullying or harassment. Under our new policy, we will not allow third-party apps to use Snapchat integrations to facilitate communication between users without a registered and visible username and identity”.

Remove a Connected App

Authorized third-party apps, in connection with Snapchat through Snap Kit, can be connected to your Snapchat account. Snap Kit apps let you share Snaps, Stories, and Bitmoji to and from your favorite apps!

Snap Kit doesn’t allow developers of connected apps to access data at login, other than Display Name and Bitmoji. For example, you shouldn’t ever be asked to provide a third-party app with your Snapchat username and password! But the developer may ask you for more data through the connected app. Not all applications are allowed to be connected to Snapchat.

To remove a connected app…

  1. Tap your profile icon and tap on the Settings icon to open Settings
  2. Click on ‘Connected Apps’
  3. Tap the app you want to remove
  4. Tap ‘Remove’ at the bottom-middle of the screen

You can also customize what Snapchat info is shared with that connected app — tap the toggle to remove access.

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