Swipe right for trouble: Six teen dating apps parents need to know about

Is there such a thing as a dating app that doesn’t spell danger for teens? Frankly, we don’t know of any - but here's a roundup of some of the worst of the worst.

If you find your child is using one of them - don’t panic and try not to judge. You want to open up a conversation, not to send your child deeper into hiding.

How? In a follow-up blog, we’ll give you advice from Family Zone’s top digital parenting experts on how to manage that tricky balancing act.


Yubo (formerly “Yellow”)

Yubo

Often called “Tinder for Teens,” it invites kids to swipe right to “like” and then communicate with other users. Widely alleged to be a magnet for sexual predators.

13+ (no age verification)


 

 

 

Spotafriend

spotafriendThe first sentence of its description in the App Store is “Spotafriend is not a teen dating app.” Except that’s exactly what it is. Kids swipe to become “friends” and start private chatting with strangers in their vicinity - located with GPS.

Spotafriend website content features “more than a friend” topics like “How to seduce a girl online.” Just friends, eh? 

17+ (no age verification)


 

Mylol

mylol

“Networking” and dating app supposedly restricted to users age 19 and under but notorious magnet for adult users plus explicit photos. Profiles can include pictures, sexual orientation and videos. “Privileged Members” pay for features like “Know who votes, winks and visits you.”


Warnings and controversy have surrounded MyLOL since its debut - most troublingly adults using the site to prey on children - yet it remains one of the top sites for teens. 

17+ (no age verification)


The Game by Hot or Not

hot or not“Hot or Not” - and the name says it all - was one of the first hookup apps. In its latest incarnation as “The Game” it works in much the same way: users rate others’ attractiveness using a heart or an X. Matches can exchange messages.

One of the most disturbing apps for teen meet-ups.

17+ (no age verification)


 

 

Meetme

meetme

Parents have described it as a “creepy social network that features racy photos and suggestive talk.” Meetme was sued in 2014 for “lax privacy protections [that] give sexual predators a high-tech tool to exploit kids under 18.” Enough said?

17+ (no age verification)


 

 

 

Skout

SkoutDescribed by its developers as a “flirting” app, Skout presents users with potential matches by preference and proximity, and promises to be “so much fun, you won’t be able to stop.” Teens earn points through creating a profile, uploading a pic and  downloading advertised apps. Those points are used to to explore prospects in more distant localities.

After widespread criticism that the app posed a danger to teens, Skout tightened safety protocols in 2012, but ages remain unverified and many teens simply enter a false birthday at registration. 

17+ (no age verification)

Use Family Zone to manage apps and social media, set study- and sleep-times and so much more

 

Find out how!

Topics: Parental Controls, Screen time, teens on social media, wellbeing, dating app

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