YouNow app was launched in 2011. It’s an app that claims to stream 100 million videos per month. Even though it’s been out for awhile, this week was the first time I’ve ever heard of it – so I thought I would check it out.
I downloaded the app on my phone. And started my live broadcast, immediately I had strangers viewing what I was doing. I made some small talk with a few people, mostly asking questions how the app works. I learned that it’s mostly younger kids that are using the app. I was considered a bit old (here at age 34) I also took some time to view some Live Stream from people of all ages and there were a few things that were of concern to me:
- YouNow has in app purchases, people can buy virtual things to send to other people. So if your device is connected to a bank account, any child could easily purchase these type of things very easily.
- Kids film themselves alone in their bedrooms. I see this as a huge issue with privacy. I felt awkward watching such young children broadcasting what they were doing in their bedrooms. I know that some people would enjoy this, it wasn’t something I felt comfortable with.
- Bullying: People can comment while people are broadcasting. Some people are MEAN, some of the comments were brutal and not necessary.
- Children can be followed and viewed by adults.
- Kids were giving out their social media details, such as SnapChat or Facebook for these random followers to come connect with them. (Again huge security flag)
- To sign up for YouNow you have to use one of your social media accounts, so anyone can click on your connected account and find out more information about you.
This is definitely an app to be aware of. I wouldn’t feel comfortable having my children use it, knowing that total strangers are watching everything they are doing while they broadcast. It’s so important for parents to be involved and check their children’s devices! Parents may think they have everything under control, however I saw it live on YouNow – a child (maybe 12, or 13) alone in her bedroom talking to strangers, her Mom walked in the room and asked her “Who are you talking too” and the child denies having any conversation while hiding her phone until the Mom left the room.
With anything, there are always positives to take away as well. I can see this being a great way for musicians to broaden their fan base, or for people to connect. But in dealing with children, and privacy I feel that parents really need to be aware of what the app is and how your children may be allowing adults and strangers into your home without you even knowing.