With the launch of its new app developer platform, Snapchat outlines data security measures aimed at putting users first.
Snapchat is launching a new developer platform called Snap Kit for app integrations. The platform includes four integration options — Creative Kit, Login Kit, Bitmoji Kit and Story Kit — and has been designed, according to Snapchat, to prioritize user privacy and security.
“Snap Kit will help Snapchatters tap into the best parts of other apps they love — and help those apps integrate some of Snapchat’s experiences into their products, while ensuring users’ account information is kept secure, and private,” says a Snap spokesperson.
Snap Kit integration options
The four integration options cover specific features of Snapchat, from the stickers and filters used with the Snapchat camera to login processes, Bitmojis and Snapchat Stories. The Creative Kit option allows app developers to add their own stickers, filters, links and more to the Snapchat camera. The Login Kit, according to the company, will make it easier for users to log into other apps with their Snapchat login (including their Bitmoji avatar).
Separate from the Login Kit, the Bitmoji Kit is connected directly with the Snapchat-owned Bitmoji platform, allowing Snapchat users to share their Bitmoji stickers within other apps. Story Kit allows apps to embed publicly shared Snapchat Stories on websites outside of Snapchat. Snapchat says apps will be able to search publicly shared Stories by location, time, captions and more to discover relevant Stories available to embed.
Snapchat privacy policies for app developers
Snapchat shared a bulleted list of the security principles it used to develop the new app platform, clarifying various steps it is taking to protect user privacy. The company says it minimizes the amount of information it collects from users — only asking for display names and optional Bitmoji avatars when a user logs into a connected app — and does not share user-identifiable information, such as demographic information like a user’s age, gender or location, or their friend list.
“Snap Kit only allows Snapchatters to share their own Snapchat display name and Bitmoji to log in to other apps — not their friends. We have never offered a product like an open social graph, and we do not share — or allow Snapchatters to share their own — friend network information with third parties,” says Snapchat.
If a Snapchat user has not used an integrated app for more than 90 days, Snap Kit will automatically disconnect the user from that app. Snapchat also says any third-party Snap Kit app integrations will first undergo a human review and approval process conducted by its trust and safety team and customer operations team — and that developers will have to agree to the company’s privacy standards.
Snap Kit launch partners
Before rolling out Snap Kit, Snapchat partnered with what it says was a small group of apps that acted as initial launch partners for the developer platform. According to the announcement, the group included (but was not limited to) the following apps:
- Salesforce’s Quip.
- Bands in Town.
From the limited sharing of user information and friends list to the outlined approval process, Snapchat is making obvious efforts to distance itself as much as possible from the lack of data policies that resulted in Facebook’s latest user privacy crisis.