Social Media APPS to be Aware of:

If you're a parent and you haven't heard of Yik Yak, Periscope or other new apps, you might want to get acquainted. They are coming your kids' way, if your kids aren't using them already.

Here is an overview of 13 of the most popular new social media trends, with information coming from ConnectSafely.org, Teen Esteem and Common Sense Media, the San Francisco-based advocacy nonprofit.
(written by Martha Ross, Bay Area News Group/Healthy Living 06/28/2015)


Yik Yak

A "chat room" for users within a 1.5-mile radius, Yik Yak was designed for college students to communicate anonymously with one another on university campuses. However, it's clear from spending time on Yik Yak that local high school kids are using it, too, though its creators have blocked access at most middle and high school sites nationwide. Watch out for: Used responsibly, it can offer users ways to voice thoughts and feelings they might not feel comfortable sharing otherwise, and interactions can be supportive and friendly. However, there is still lots of potential for digital drama, as demonstrated by the Danville high school incidents.

Ask.fm

Kids can ask questions and answer those posted by other users -- sometimes anonymously. Watch out for: As with Yik Yak, some interactions are friendly, but the platform can also attract bullying.
Whisper
An anonymous "confessional" app where users post random or deeply private thoughts, paired with an image. Watch out for: Whispers are often sexual or they include confessions about difficult topics such as insecurity, depression and substance abuse. The app also has a "Meet Up" section where uses can share personal information.

Whisper

An anonymous "confessional" app where users post random or deeply private thoughts, paired with an image. Watch out for: Whispers are often sexual or they include confessions about difficult topics such as insecurity, depression and substance abuse. The app also has a "Meet Up" section where uses can share personal information.

Snapchat

The app causes videos and pictures to disappear after a set amount of time, encouraging users to share silly or even sensitive photos or comments. Watch out for: It's a myth that Snapchats go away forever. The person you send it to can take a screenshot, and any data can potentially be recovered


Instagram

Lets users snap, edit and share photos and 15-second videos, either publicly or with a private network of followers. Watch out for: Photos and videos shared on Instragram are public unless privacy settings are adjusted.


Tumblr

A cross between Twitter and blogging, Tumbler allows users to stream a "scrapbook" of texts, photos, videos or audio clips. Watch out for: It's easy to come across images of pornography, violence and drug use.


Kik

This texting app allows kids to message with no character limits or fees. Watch out for: It's loaded with ads and specializes in "promoted chats" -- conversations between brands and users.


WhatsApp

Supposedly for users 16 and older, it lets users send text messages, audio messages, videos and photos to one or more people with no message limits or fees. Watch out for: the way it encourages users to sign up friends.


Vine

Allows users to create and share six-second videos of themselves or their friends and family. Watch out for: All videos and comments are public, unless you specifically adjust your settings. Common Sense Media reviewers easily found videos showing nudity, drug use and other inappropriate videos.


Tinder

A dating app that matches users in a specific geographical area. Watch out for: While only appropriate for adults, it has been known to facilitate hookups among teen users.


Meerkat, Periscope and YouNow

New live-streaming apps that allow kids to broadcast in real time. Watch out for: Because the apps stream live, there's no way to know what's going to happen next, including the sudden appearance of sexual or violent content or people who don't want to be filmed. Common Sense Media gives these apps their lowest privacy rating.


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