The Monkey app is a popular video chat app that encourages students to have 15 second video chats with strangers. This app is listed in the SmartSocial.com ‘Red Zone” which means we highly recommend deleting the Monkey app if your child has it.
What is the Monkey app?
- The Monkey app connects users to talk with strangers via 15-second video chats using their Snapchat usernames
- Users are randomly paired with strangers for a 15 second video chat (Like Chatroulette)
- When signing up, users connect their Snapchat usernames and phone numbers to the app
- Users see the age and gender of the other user before connecting with them in a 15 second chat
- If users want to video chat for longer than 15 seconds, then they have to click on the 🕒 time button. Both users must click on the time button for the chat to extend past 15 seconds
- Additionally, users can add the person on Snapchat to keep the conversation going
- The app relies on Facebook or Snapchat to verify that the user is over the age of 13
- Users can post a “moment” for all of their followers to see
- Direct messaging allows users to chat privately
- Users earn “bananas” by using the app
- “Bananas” are then used to purchase merch from the app
- The Monkey app supports group video chats so many users can chat at the same time
Why should parents care?
- Any app that encourages students to connect with strangers online can be very dangerous
- The Monkey app shares its users’ personal information with third parties
- Since the Monkey app functions like Snapchat, kids love using it
- Random video chatting apps, like Monkey, make it easy for teens to be targeted by predators
- 15 seconds isn’t a long enough to determine if someone is worth connecting with on social media
- Users are likely to encounter inappropriate content on the app and be asked to share mature content
- Content with bullying, bad language, and nudity is common on the Monkey app despite their content moderation
- There is no way to verify that the person you are about to chat with is actually the age and gender they’ve indicated in their profile
- Since Monkey is connected to your Snapchat account, it can be easy for strangers to get access to your personal information
The Monkey app in the news:
Among the 25 [Monkey app] users CNBC chatted with, one was engaging in a sexually explicit act while another was [baring body parts]–CNBC
It’s important to note that some [Monkey app] users report abuse and requests for baring body parts, so it could be easy for some teens to get into trouble.–Common Sense Media
The average age on Monkey is 17, and they don’t pair adults and minors, although the app’s simple signup process makes it very easy to fake your age.–Mashable
What parents say about the Monkey App:
Too much nudity for minors, or anyone under 18!
“Happened to see my son and his friend using the monkey app, what I witnessed was appalling. Young teens and preteen boys flashing their privates, cursing, grotesque language, name calling, bullying, racist derogatory names, asking the person they’re chatting with to show them their private parts.”
My daughters were violated!!!
“Please do not allow your children to have this app on their electronic devices. It is completely inappropriate for kids any age.”
Source: Common Sense Media
What can parents do?
- Join SmartSocial.com/Join to learn about apps like this before the news reports on them
- Teach your teen to be very cautious of the information they share online, even if they post anonymously. Remind students to never share personal information, especially with strangers
- Discuss the risks of chatting with strangers online
- Challenge your teen to avoid private messaging apps
- When you’re ready for your student to be online, read our Parent App Guide to learn which apps are safe and which apps are dangerous for students to use
The Monkey app makes it easy for predators to target victims. If your child has the Monkey app, delete it immediately and explain the dangers of using the app to them.
How do you keep your kids safe from apps like the Monkey app? Let us know in the comments below!