A newly proposed bill seeks to ban Snapchat‘s popular Snapstreak feature. The reasoning behind this is to curb the overuse of social media, as the Snapstreak feature may encourage users to log in and send Snaps at least once every 24 hour period. This proposal comes as part of Missouri Senator Josh Hawley’s “Social Media Addiction Reduction Technology (SMART) Act.” The goal is to ban “addictive and deceptive techniques” put in place by social media companies including Snapchat.
How the Snapstreak feature works — the number of days that two users have continuously sent photos or short videos to each other will be displayed in the app. Chatting doesn’t count. If a streak goes unattended over 24 hours, the Snapstreak disappears. Critics of the Snapstreak feature believe it promotes unhealthy social media habits by pushing users to become addicted to the app. This happens most commonly amongst teenagers. However, these claims must be based in evidence in order for the bill to pass.
The SMART Act also seeks to ban infinite scroll and autoplay features. Any system that provides users with an endless supply of content would be discouraged. Instead, apps should have “natural stopping points” under Hawley’s new vision. Snapchat’s photo-sharing platform is more popular than ever. Snap revealed last week that daily active users rose to 203 million in the second quarter, up from 190 million in the previous quarter.