Saturn – It’s not outer space, it’s social media

Zoe Watts


Zoe Watts, Reporter

Just a few years after its launch in the fall of 2018, the app, Saturn, has garnered over 3 million downloads, recently shooting to the top of the charts. With school starting this past August, download rates for students all over the country have risen once again, giving Saturn a 21 on Apple’s Social Networking chart. 

Saturn allows students to share schedules, organize events and get personal countdowns for each class period. The app offers a more personalized high school experience, giving students the opportunity to connect with their peers, as well as look at other students’ schedules before the start of school. 

Saturn’s rates skyrocketed in early Aug. as more students raced to download the app after registration. As just one of many features, Saturn enabled schedule sharing, giving students the ability to enter classes, as well as periods and teachers. Another unique feature is scheduled viewing, allowing students to see not only who is in their classes, but what classes their friends have. 

If a user enables notifications, they’ll get an alert, reminding them of the next day’s schedule, as well as if it’s an even or odd day. Students also get class-by-class notifications throughout the day, reminding them of breaks, lunch, and future classes. Going on the app during school hours gives a user the opportunity to view a countdown of the class period, informing them of how much longer each period lasts, timed to the second. 

One of Saturn’s more unique features is its exclusivity. Saturn’s sign-up process has students input their high school, and, once sign-up is complete, only students who go to Carlsbad High can view profiles of other CHS students. Saturn is also exclusive to high school students, only catering to specific schools across the country. 

While several of Saturn’s features are incredibly beneficial and motivating, such as the end-of-the-day countdown, a few seem slightly questionable. Saturn’s setup, while exclusive to those at Carlsbad High, doesn’t offer any other privacy settings, meaning one can easily view any CHS student’s schedule. There are no restrictions or limitations on who can view what, meaning any CHS student’s information is readily available to those who want it. 

In addition to Saturn’s lack of privacy settings, the app also offers a roster of all Carlsbad High students, organized by first name. This allows any user to search through all the students at CHS, as well as see where they are. Saturn also indicates who is active on the app through a green dot, a feature that cannot be turned off or disabled, offering incredibly little protection for personal information. 

For some users, the benefits of Saturn may outweigh the privacy concerns. For me, however, allowing any one of over 2,000 students to be able to view where I am, who I’m with and what I’m doing, doesn’t motivate me to want to keep the app. Saturn’s complete lack of privacy might not be enough to deter me from downloading the app, but its restriction on changing personal settings is. 

Saturn doesn’t allow its users to change their privacy settings in the way that other social media apps like Instagram or TikTok do. This means that all of a user’s information is public to anyone at their school. While Saturn offers incredible features that haven’t been seen before in apps of similar nature, in my opinion, it isn’t worth a download.