What it is:
There are an abundance of apps, including Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, that enable live video- a feature that allows you to create, post and watch video in real time. It is a lot like live T.V. and very simple to use. Simply aim the camera, shoot video, and post it online. According to a recent poll we found in the Huffington Post, nearly half of all the 10- to 16-year-olds (49%) said they have posted live videos on apps, such as Snapchat or Instagram. When asked why they want to live stream videos 30% said because it’s fun, 25% said they enjoy posting content with their friends, 16% like to let others know what they’re doing and 14% like it when their posts get shared or commented on.
What Parents Need To Know:
Periscope is an app owned by Twitter that allows you to post live video directly to the site. The main concern is that there is no delay, so there are no limitations on what will show up on your live feed. On this particular app, most videos relate to celebs and politics, but violence and criminal activity have definitely shown up.
Live.ly is an app that teens use to stream video to their friends and followers. It allows space for comments and “likes” and users are drawn to the feel that they are “hanging out” with each other. The main issue with this app would be the risk of teens oversharing and getting to comfortable with the “audience.”
YouNow seems to be one of the most popular video apps with teens. This app actually has its own subculture and its own “celebrities.” Users do frequently get blocked, due to more oversight and follow-through from the site. There is very little mature content that gets through. This app has a feature where you can “like” and comment on people’s video’s, but it goes a step further where you can send gold bars and “gifts” to the broadcaster. This generates real money for the broadcaster. You would definitely want to discuss this aspect with your child and whether or not this is the best way to spend his or her money. Again, like all other video sharing apps, the main concern with teens is oversharing.
Project B3’s Tips and Suggestions:
- Talk your kids about what is acceptable to post and what is acceptable to watch.
- Go through their privacy settings and make sure ONLY their friends have access to their videos.
- Remind your teens to never share personal information online and in videos (where they live, where they work, etc)
- These apps have a higher risk for danger. Teens might get coaxed into posting something they instantly regret.
- Continue to have an open dialogue about who they are communicating with online.