What Parents Need To Know:
Yubo describes itself as “a social media app to meet new friends and have fun with them.” It is very popular among preteens and teens with an estimated 15 million users. It has also earned the nickname, “Tinder for Teens.” Tinder is a popular dating app intended for adult users, for adult purposes.
How it Works:
It’s pretty simple: Yubo users create their own profile, they share their location, then browse hundreds of images of other users near them. When creating your Yubo profile, you need to list your name, date of birth, whether you are a boy or girl and whether you are interested in meeting boys, girls, or both. However, there is not way to verify your date of birth, so the 17+ user age requirement is not enforced.
Once you have a profile and are browsing other profiles, you can connect with people based on your location. If you see a profile that you like, you “Swipe Right,” on the picture. If that same person sees your profile picture and likes it, they will “Swipe Right” and you have made a connection. Then, you can exchange messages, photos, video chats and add them as a friend on Snapchat. If you do not like the profile, you “Swipe Left,” which means you have declined the invitation to chat and get to know one another.
One of the biggest criticisms of Yubo is that there is no way to verify or prove your age. This means a 13-year-old can, possibly, use it as a dating app. There’s simply no good reason for a teenage dating app. It also means an adult predator can be posing as younger person to connect with children, which is simply terrifying.
There are also no privacy settings and no way to block users, which means that once you add people, they can see anything and everything once a user has posted it.
Project B3 Tips and Suggestions:
- Just because it may seem like a dating app, doesn’t mean that is how your teen is using it. It can just as easily be used as a way to make friends.
- Check your teens phone to see if they have this app and if they do, ask to see their friend list.
- Always keep an open line of communication about who your children are talking to and how they are using social media.
- Watch for “sneaky” behavior. Teens should have no problem sitting next to you and texting a friend. They don’t need to go into their rooms and lock the door to video chat with a friend.