IMVU is the #1 avatar-based social experience. Users create custom avatars and use them to chat with strangers in random chats or 3D chat rooms.
What is the IMVU app?
- IMVU is an app where users create custom avatars and use them to chat with strangers in random chats or 3D chat rooms
- An avatar is a figure representing a particular person in video games, forums, etc.
- The “chat now” feature randomly pairs users with other users
- Users can then decide if they want to chat or skip the other IMVU user
- Users can post pictures of their avatar in different poses and backgrounds (both 2D and 3D)
- In addition to pictures, users can post text
- Daily Spin is a feature where users can “spin a wheel” and win prizes. Prizes can be credits for the app or new clothes for avatars
- Users can purchase credits using real money
- Credits can be used to purchase new clothes, accessories, hairstyles, different avatars, or poses
Why should parents care?
- This app is not appropriate for students
- Although the app specifically states that it is not meant for kids under the age of 17, there are instances where teens use the app anyway
- All profiles are public
- This app can be used by predators to try and get victims to share their phone number, send photos, and video chat off of the app
- Some users of the app bully others who don’t spend real money on buying better clothes or new furniture for their avatar
- Content on the app can be explicit and inappropriate for students
- Chat rooms are unmoderated
- Users can buy inappropriate and suggestive clothes for their avatars
- IMVU encourages users to chat with strangers
- Avatars can simulate explicit acts
IMVU app in the news
Children rated ASKfm, Omegle, IMVU, as some of the most risky sites in the major survey, leading the NSPCC to urge parents to look beyond the well known [apps] and find out about the more obscure apps their children are using. –Telegraph
There seem to be cracks in the system that allow adult content to filter out into public areas, making [IMVU] iffy for users under 18. –Common Sense Media
What can parents do?
- If your teen has the IMVU app, have them delete it and discuss the dangers of the app
- Check out our Parent App Guide page and encourage your student to use apps in our Green Zone
- Before giving them access to social media, ensure that students know who they should and should not engage with online
- Teach your teen to never share personal information or try to meet a stranger in-person that they met online
- Have a discussion with your student and ensure that they always ask for permission before downloading any apps or buying anything on their apps
- Regularly monitor your student’s digital footprint
- Consider joining Parent University to get videos you can watch WITH your kids so they will learn how to be safe and smart online