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Snapchat Now Lets Parents See Who Their Kids Are Messaging

Parents won't be able to see the messages themselves, though.

Snapchat app icon
Snap has released parental controls.
Sarah Tew/CNET

Snap, the parent company of Snapchat, launched a set of parental control tools on Tuesday that allow adults to see who their children are contacting on the messaging app. 

The parental control features, called Family Center, lets see their children's lists of friends and who they have messaged over the past week, though they can't see the content of the messages. 

"Family Center is designed to reflect the way that parents engage with their teens in the real world, where parents usually know who their teens are friends with and when they are hanging out – but don't eavesdrop on their private conversations," Snap said in a blog post about the tools. 

Snap said that in the coming weeks it will add a feature allowing parents to easily view new friends their children have added. The company plans to add more parental control features, including "new content controls," in the fall. 

The company faced scrutiny alongside YouTube and TikTok at a congressional hearing last fall that focused on the effect of social media on children's wellbeing. Snap insisted that Snapchat was "built as an antidote to social media," lacking a feed of content and deleting images by default. Lawmakers said the app exposes children to drugs and sexualized content.

Snap didn't immediately respond to a request for additional comment.