musical.ly is an app for creating and sharing short videos. First introduced in 2014, musical.ly has become popular with the tween and teen set in their never-ending pursuit of popularity and fame, social likes and validation. Plus, it’s fun. While you can have a private account, most kids don’t. Here’s what parents should know about musical.ly.
Flinch is an app by the makers of OoVoo. The premise of this app sounds fun – it’s basically the digital version of a staring contest. The first person who smiles, loses the game. While the technology behind the app is impressive, parents should know that kids using Flinch can stare down with complete strangers.
Here are a few apps all parents should have on their radar. Periscope and YouNow are apps used to live-stream video from your phone. More than just recording videos and sending them, with these apps you hit “record” and people can watch you – live. Sound a little scary? A little voyeuristic? A little narcissistic? I thought so too! I downloaded these apps to see what they were all about and yes, there are many kids and teens broadcasting their lives.
This is a review of Google’s new YouTube app for kids, called YouTube Kids. The app is a kid-friendly version of YouTube that shows only age appropriate videos, no comments or ratings. There are parental control features included such as the ability to set a time limit for viewing and block videos.
When a friend asked me about Keek, I thought they were asking about Kik, the messaging app. But Keek isn’t Kik and Kik isn’t Keek. Keek is a social media site and app focused on sharing short video clips. Think Facebook, but with video updates instead of text or photo updates. And oh yeah, little to no privacy. You may not have heard of Keek, but with 24 million users and growing, your tween or teen may be “keeking” already.
Instagram has added video, just a few short weeks after I wrote about the video sharing app Vine. Guess the folks at Instagram saw some of their app market share shrinking and needed to jump on the video bandwagon. Or maybe this had been their plan all along. Either way, what does this mean for parents of Instagrammers?
Ah, apps. They come and go. Vine is shutting down and morphing into “Vine Camera” on January 17. With the camera, Viners can still make short looping videos. Instead of sharing, liking and following within the app, they’ll either share them to Twitter or save them.
Have you heard of the website Omegle? I hadn’t until a teenager mentioned it in a comment on another article. I’ve also had several requests from concerned parents asking for a review. Omegle is a website that allows you to chat with a random stranger. So right away we have probably answered the question in the title of this post! Omegle is not okay for kids – unless you are okay with your kids chatting with complete strangers. I’m guessing that you’re not.
If you’ve been following my advice here on Be Web Smart, you’ve locked down your child’s iPod, restricting them from purchasing apps and viewing videos on YouTube, and you’ve installed a kid-safe browser. And your kids might be wondering, well what can I do now?!? So I’m more than pleased to write about an app that kids can enjoy and parents don’t have to worry about.
My daughter showed me a video on YouTube recently, posted by a 6th grader at her school. It was a parody of a popular song – completely harmless and kind of funny. But I had to wonder – do the boy’s parents know that he has an active YouTube channel with over 1,500 subscribers and over 200,000 video views? This had me thinking about YouTube safety, so I thought I’d share a few tips.