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Snapchat Launches Test of Dark Mode with Small Percentage of Users



This will be welcome news to dark mode enthusiasts.

This week, Snapchat has confirmed that it’s testing a new dark mode option with a small percentage of users, moving into line with almost every other app that now has a low light option.

Snapchat dark mode

As you can see in these screenshots, shared by Appleosophy, for those that have the dark mode option available, there’s a new ‘App appearance’ section within your app settings. There, you can select whether you want your app to align with your device settings (switching to dark mode at a certain time of day), or revert to dark mode all the time for Snapchat.

It’s not widely available, so you likely won’t see it yet. But the fact that it’s now moved into the live test phase would suggest that it is coming soon, with a broader roll out seemingly on the cards in the near future. Snapchat has confirmed to SMT that the initial, limited test is now live.

As noted, Snapchat is one of the last major social apps to add dark mode, with most apps making the option available following updates to iOS 13 and Android 10 respectively to better facilitate dark mode switching. Facebook has now added dark mode options to all of its apps, while TwitterPinterestTikTok and Reddit also provide dark mode toggles. LinkedIn’s dark mode option is also in development.

Dark mode options have a passionate fandom, with some users very keen on the alternative color palates.

It’s sort of like finding a shiny Pokemon, with a totally different version of the original that adds something new, a different perspective on your favorite apps.

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Dark mode options do also serve a functional purpose, in that they limit the use of blue light. Blue light is designed to improve device readability in daylight, but in low-light situations, blue light can actually cause your brain to stop producing melatonin. That can lead to disrupted sleep cycles, making it harder to fall and stay asleep.

And with so many of us now checking our phones in bed before retiring for the night, this is a significant concern – in fact, research shows that, since 1985, the percentage of adults who are getting less than six hours sleep per night has increased by 31%. 


As such, this is a good addition for Snapchat. We’ll share any news on a broader rollout of the update as it becomes available.


New Screenshots Highlight How Snapchat’s Coming ‘Family Center’ Will Work



New Screenshots Highlight How Snapchat's Coming 'Family Center' Will Work

Snapchat’s parental control options look close to launch, with new screenshots based on back-end code showing how Snap’s coming ‘Family Center’ will look in the app.

As you can see in these images, shared by app intelligence company Watchful (via TechCrunch), the Family Center will enable parents to see who their child is engaging with in the app, along with who they’ve added, who they’re following, etc.

That could provide a new level of assurance for parents – though it could also be problematic for Snap, which has become a key resource for more private, intimate connection, with its anti-public posting ethos, and disappearing messages, helping to cement its place as an alternative to other social apps.

That’s really how Snap has embedded its niche. While other apps are about broadcasting your life to the wider world, Snap is about connecting with a small group of friends, where you can share your more private, secret thoughts, without concern of them living on forever, and coming back to bite you at a later stage.

That also, of course, means that more questionable, dangerous communications are happening in the app. Various reports have investigated how Snap is used for sending lewd messages, and arranging hook-ups, while drug dealers reportedly now use Snap to organize meet-ups and sales.

Which, of course, is why parents will be keen to get more insight into such, but I can’t imagine Snap users will be so welcoming of an intrusive tool in this respect.

But if parents know that it exists, they may have to, and that could be problematic for Snap. Teen users will need to accept their parents’ invitation to enable Family Center monitoring, but you can see how this could become an issue for many younger users in the app.


Still, the protective benefits may well be worth it, with random hook-ups and other engagements posing significant risks. And with kids as young as 13 able to create a Snapchat account, there are many vulnerable youngsters engaging in the app.

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But it could reduce Snap’s appeal, as more parents become aware of the tool.

Snapchat hasn’t provided any further insight into the new Family Center, or when it will be released, but it looks close to launch based on these images.  

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