What is Yolo and what do I need to know about it?
This is not just a mis-spelling of the old-time game “yo-yo” but rather another invention for the smart-phone device. The article which is copied below gives succinct information about what the app is.
Like previous similar apps (Kik and Sarahah) the app allows teens to ask for ‘honest feedback’ in the form of anonymous replies to a question. Its rapid rise to the number one position in App Store only after a week of its launch reflects the appetite among young people for these types of apps.
Below, we’ve provided some advice on what parents need to know about the app and summarized its safety features.
What is the Yolo app and how does it work?
Yolo, which stands for ‘you only live once’, was created to allow users to anonymously ask questions to any other users through Snapchat. Users can post anonymous questions and comments on a Snapchat story and also attach images.
The app can’t work without Snapchat. Users have to link their Snapchat account to the YOLO app in order to use it. Once they are linked, open the YOLO app and press ‘Get anonymous messages’. This will open Snapchat and users can choose to send a request to ‘send me honest messages’ to their friends or to their story. Friends can then send you anonymous messages and questions to which you can view on the YOLO app. Replies to these anonymous messages can also be posted to Snapchat
The app is available on iOS and Android devices.
What is the minimum age required to use the Yolo app?
When the app launched, the minimum age in the App Store was 12+; however, due to the content created it has now been set at 17+. On Google Play store, the age is set at 18.
Why has it become so popular with teens?
One reason for its rise to fame is due to the fact that it’s an add-on to the very popular app among teens – Snapchat.
Although there is no number on how many people use the app, in May 2019, it was the most downloaded app in the UK and US.
The makers of the Yolo were surprised by how quickly it went viral and climbed to the number one position in the App Store with little media attention.
What content is featured on the app?
There isn’t any content; the app only allows users one function: to encourage others to send them anonymous messages in a Q&A format. When users post a question it can be seen by their friends or shared publicly. Friends can review the question and send an anonymous message even if they don’t have Yolo installed.
Responses to questions are only seen by the person who asked the question rather than other users on the platform.
What risks should parents watch out for on the app?
As the app has changed its age rating to 17+, we’d advise parents to consider the implication of allowing children to use the app, as it may not be age appropriate.
Also, like other anonymous apps before it, this feature on Yolo could encourage teen users to send malicious messages or create incidents of cyberbullying which parents should be aware of. As there is total anonymity, teens may feel more able to send these messages as there is less fear of being caught, even though it goes against Yolo app policy – ‘YOLO has no tolerance for objectionable content or abusive users. You’ll be banned for any inappropriate usage.’
Does it have any safety features in the app?
As it was created using Snap’s tools, users on the app have to follow Snap’s Community Guidelines. This means that users can report bullying and harassment on Yolo through Snapchat reporting tools.
Can the content be filtered?
Since Snapchat is NOT able to be filtered, neither is YOLO able to be filtered. The BARK tool works the same for YOLO as Snapchat in that it “barks” the alert to the supervisor if there are suspicious messages.
Who created it?
Created by a small French company called Popshow Inc , it was one of the first apps built by Snap Kit which is a tool for smaller companies to get involved in Snap’s network. Although it works with Snapchat it is not owned or affiliated with Snap.
What do the creators of the app say about the app?
Gregoire Henrion said:
• “We feel that anonymity can unlock super good behaviors.”
• “We think we’re more empathic, more human than other anonymous apps before us.”
https://www.internetmatters.org/hub/guidance/parents-guide-what-is-yolo-app-and-is-it-safe/ Internet Matters Team (July 22, 2019).
What do parents say about the app?
One parent on common sense media gave their review of the app and said:
• “Don’t go there”
• “Random thoughts questions and opinions from unknown people. This could open up a world of hurt… isn’t there enough of that?”
From https://protectyoungeyes.com/apps/yolo-anonymous-questions-parental-controls/ these pictures give an idea of what greets the eye…