What is the Yolo App? Is it safe and trustworthy?

YOLO app became the #1 app in Apple Store in 2018. However, until today the app still remains popular among Snapchat users. 

Similar to the Sarahah app, YOLO app allows kids to ask and answer questions anonymously.

In this post we go through the following questions : 

  • What is Yolo app?
  • How does Yolo app work?
  • Is this app safe for children
  • Parent reviews on this app
  • What can you do if your child wants to use this app?

The YOLO app is linked to a user’s Snapchat account, allowing them to get answers from their friends and strangers.

When your child signs up to YOLO using their Snapchat account they allow themselves to be targeted by strangers on the platform (also bullying and threats from people they don’t know).

What is the YOLO app?

YOLO stands for “you online live once” is an app that allows kids to ask and answer questions anonymously

The app is embedded within Spanchat. Using Yolo users can comment and post answers anonymously. 

Users can also create questions, to get answers from other users.

The app can be downloaded on iOs and Android devices.

Age requirement for Yolo App:

Users need to be at least 17 years old to use this. Previously, the age was set to 12 years old. 

Due to bullying and other safety issues, it has now increased to 17 years old.

Google Play has given it a rating of PEGI18

How does the Yolo app work?

  • Users need to Login to YOLO using their Snapchat account
  • Once the app is downloaded your kids can get anonymous messages from Snapchat to their YOLO account
  • Your kids have to add “ask me anything” sticker into their Snap Story
  • Whoever that sees your kids Snap Story then will just have to swipe up and be able to ask them any question anonymously
  • Your child then can decide if they want to reply to the question sent to them
  • Users can block other users without the app notifying the follower
  • Users can report questions without letting the other user know  that they are being reported

 

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Why is Yolo so popular?

Yolo is popular especially among teenagers because it is an add-on app on Snapchat. 

In fact Yolo was created in just 3 days and the makers made it ‘Just for fun’. They were surprised to see the app going viral with no media attention given to it.

Yolo app review : 

Apps like YOLO can facilitate bullying. For instance, Sarahah an app that got removed from IOS and Android last year because of enabling bullying.

The anonymous messaging app can be a source of sending hate messages and insensitive replies to users.

Common Sense Media has given this app a one-star rating. It has warned parents to not use this app

Bullying on Yolo app:

Anonymous messaging apps like Yolo is known to be a ground for bullying. 

There is no doubt that apps like Yolo can facilitate such behavior since users can hide behind the screen and not be accountable for their actions. 

Though the app is made with the purpose of users being able to get positive messages, the problem is that most of it’s users are teenagers. 

Users have reported being harassed on this app.  Despite reporting it to the app, no action was taken to stop the harasser from messaging the user.

What do the developers say about the app?

Popshow the developers of YOLO did not know the app would be a success. In an interview with TechCrunch they stated that :

“It was not supposed to be a success. It was just for us to learn” Henrion tells me in his first interview about his startup. “Let’s just put it on the App Store and see how people behave. It went 100% viral. It’s crazy. Even we didn’t believe our eyes when we saw that [it went to #1].”

The developers may not have thought about the consequences of anonymous messaging apps like this on teens. Hence, we will have to see how this app is being used by that age group.

They will need to work hard to weed out bullying and hateful messages from the app to keep it safe for kids.

YOLO Safety Measure:

Before signing up for the app, users will be given a prompted message that states that the app has “no tolerance for objectionable content or abusive users.”

The questions remain if users will abide by the app rule. This is something we have to wait and see.

Can Yolo reveal a user’s name?

Based on the research conducted, so far, it is not possible to reveal a user’s name on Yolo. Hence, the app is able to maintain it’s popularity through it being anonymous. 

Is Yolo trustworthy and safe?

  • It is currently the number 1 app in the Apple Store among teens
  • Anonymous messaging app can be a source of bullying for many of its users
  • It is so easy to sign up to YOLO which makes it appealing to many teens
  • School kids can abuse this app and use it to send hateful messages to avoid trouble from saying things loud in school. In other words, they can use this app to bully others.
  • The app is rated for aged 17+. At an interview with the BBC, Protect Young Eyes stated that  “Anonymity… has always created a breeding ground for hate and very poor teen decision-making,

How to delete the Yolo app?

Here’s how you can delete the Yolo app:

  1. Open Snapchat
  2. Click on Profile icon
  3. Click on the Gear icon
  4. Click on Connected Apps
  5. Click on Yolo app
  6. Click Center of Screen
  7. You will be prompted “Remove the app”
  8. Click on the Remove tab
  9. And now you have unlinked Yolo from Snapchat.

What can you do if your child is using this app?

  1. Find out the real reason for your child to be using YOLO. If they are doing it to seek validation from others then this can be a potential problem you may need to discuss with your child.
  2. Always use the apps your kids are using so you understand how the app works and the dangers associated with it.
  3. Remind your kids to be kind online. Even if they are sending messages anonymously.
  4. If your kids are below the age of 17 years old do not allow them to sign up to Snapchat or YOLO. In fact, hold off Snapchat for as long as you can. Plenty of safety issues with this app.
  5. Finally, let your child know they do not need to seek validation from strangers.  Give them the confidence to believe in themselves.
  6. Before giving your child access to social media, do check out the smartphone self-evaluation kit for kids and see if your child is ready for such an app.

Get the Free Printable Kids Self-Evaluation Tool

 

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psst, don’t forget to :Download the THE GROWTH MINDSET KIT helping children to stay calm, confident and grounded even when growing up around social media.

Conclusion

Yolo app founders have stated how they want to keep this app safe for its users and develop an algorithm that can weed out negativity.

However, many anonymous messaging apps like this ends up being a place that facilitates bullying.

Remind your kids, that even when things are anonymous, a screenshot of messages can always be taken.

Someday these messages may backfire on them.

Let them know that everything they do online will be traced back to their digital footprint. Hence, be careful with what they say or share.

Before you go, don’t forget to check out the growth-mindset kit you can use at home or in the classroom.

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