Snapchat Announces New Mental Health Search Function Within Its App

Social media giant Snapchat has announced the launch of a new search tool specifically designed to help users with any mental health issues they may be facing.

The picture and video sharing app has roughly 186 million users worldwide, with many of those adolescents. In 2017, a British study ranked Snapchat as one of the most detrimental apps when it comes to its impact on young people’s mental health.

To help combat this effect, Snapchat has created ‘Here For You’. According to the tech company, the feature “will provide proactive in-app support to Snapchatters who may be experiencing a mental health or emotional crisis, or who may be curious to learn more about these issues and how they can help friends dealing with them.”

The feature isn’t available yet, with Snapchat announcing that it’ll be rolled out in the coming months but once it’s live, it’ll feature resources from mental health experts with a focus on topics that young people deal with including anxiety, depression, grief, bullying and suicidal thoughts.

Social media and mental health

Snapchat isn’t the first social media app to introduce mental health-positive features, with both Instagram and Pinterest taking steps to improve the experience for its users.

In 2019, Instagram experimented with removing ‘like’ counts from posts in order to move the emphasis from likes back to content in the hopes that it improved the experience of users. This feature was trialled in several countries, including Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan and New Zealand and Aussie users still aren’t able to see like counts on posts.

Pinterest has also implemented a number of wellness activities on its app in order to help support its users with any emotional issues. If you search for any terms including stress, anxiety or depression, wellness activities like deep-breathing or self-compassion exercises will pop up.

While social media is proven to have a negative impact on many of its young users, this is another step in the right direction for the industry.

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