Chat Apps


Type of Resource


Publication Date

June 22, 2023


Social Media and Apps 
WhatsApp, Messenger, and Telegram are popular messaging apps where users can chat with friends, send photos, videos, and voice notes, or make voice and video calls for free online. Users can also have group chats, including video and voice calls with multiple contacts at a time.

There are a few things to be aware of with Chat Apps:

They generally require users to be 13 or older to use them, except for WhatsApp (which requires users to be 16).
Different apps will have different methods of adding friends. For example, in WhatsApp, you need a user’s number saved on your phone to add them as a friend.
If children in your care use these apps, you should advise them to configure their privacy settings to keep themselves and their information safe.
Users can be blocked and reported on most platforms.
WhatsApp and some other platforms use end-to-end encryption, which restricts the ability of platforms and law enforcement from intercepting messages. This enhances privacy, but may also make it harder to detect instances of online abuse or exploitation.
An unfortunate behaviour that can happen on these apps. It’s good to be aware of their use in cases of bullying. See our section on Bullying for more information on this topic.

Disappearing Messages, Images, and Videos

What is the 'View Once' feature?

WhatsApp have released their ‘View Once’ photos and videos function. If the “1” icon is chosen before you send a photo or video, it will vanish after being viewed once, much like Snapchat. Images or Videos will disappear from the chat if the ‘View Once’ icon is selected within the caption box. However, users can still screenshot images and screen record videos without the sender being notified. For more information around WhatsApp’s newest and upcoming features check out our blog here.

Welcome to the Online Safety Hub

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