BIGO LIVE App (2022): What Parents Need to Know

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April 13, 2022

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This BIGO LIVE app guide will help VIP members learn:

  • What is BIGO LIVE?
  • How does it work?
  • Why is it dangerous?
  • Tips to talk with your kids about BIGO LIVE dangers

Learn why parents and educators should care about BIGO LIVE

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This is great info, thanks for giving me some ideas on how to start a dialogue with my teen!

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This webinar is a very helpful eye-opener on the apps that are popular with my students.

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Parents and Teachers: This app is listed in the SmartSocial.com Green Zone.
We believe this app is a STARTING POINT for your student, but that you must monitor your student on every app they are on. Join our weekly newsletter to learn about the 100+ App Reviews at SmartSocial.com

Parents and Teachers: Please note this app is listed in the SmartSocial.com Gray Zone.
Parents should participate in these apps with students to keep them safe.
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Parents and Teachers: This app is listed in the SmartSocial.com Red Zone. We believe this app is not safe for students to use without adult supervision. Join our weekly newsletter to learn about the 100+ App Reviews at SmartSocial.com

Parents and Teachers: This app is listed as a Dangerous Social Media Challenge. Knowing about social media challenges before your teen does can help you keep them safe before an incident occurs. Join our weekly newsletter to learn about the 100+ App Reviews at SmartSocial.com

Table of Contents

With more than 400 million users worldwide, BIGO LIVE is a live video streaming social media network that is very popular throughout Asia but is gaining traction in the US with more than 11 million downloads in 2021.  (Source: Statista) However, apps that encourage users to randomly chat with strangers are a major red flag that this app is NOT safe for students.  Learn why BIGO LIVE is rated as one of Smart Social’s Red Zone apps.

Parent training video

In this video (click on any of the blue dots to skip to the next chapter):

1- What is BIGO LIVE?

2- BIGO warnings

3- Why should parents care?

4- What can parents do?

What is BIGO LIVE?

  • BIGO LIVE is a live streaming, social media app and website where users can watch, create videos, or live stream their activities to share with friends and strangers across the world
  • ~Live streaming allows users to watch, create, and share audio and video with anyone else on the app
  • Creators can interact with viewers and fans through live commenting, private messaging, one-on-one live video calls, or group calls
  • It is very popular with video gamers and aspiring performers to share their skills
  • Users can easily monetize the videos that they create and share directly through the app (currency in the app is known as “beans” that can be exchanged for cash)
  • Similar to other popular social media platforms, there are filters where users can change their appearance or voice 
  • Users can join groups or “families” to follow certain topics
  • The app is based out of Singapore and Los Angeles

Where to find BIGO LIVE

BIGO LIVE logo

SmartSocial.com App Zone Category:  Red

Apple App Rating: 17+

Google Play Rating: T (Teen)

Website: https://www.bigo.tv/ 

Owned By: BIGO TECHNOLOGY PTE. LTD.

Privacy Policy

Why should parents & educators care?

Example screenshot from BIGO LIVE
  • The user agreement states that the minimum age to join BIGO LIVE is 18, but there is no age verification when creating an account.  The app relies on AI (artificial intelligence) to verify a user’s age and there are several reports of younger students bypassing the AI
  • BIGO LIVE  states that users may not post any obscene or pornographic content but upon opening the app, much of the feed is full of sexually overt video and graphics and violent video games
  • Users can interact with strangers all over the world using private messaging and private/group live video calls
  • Strangers can message you immediately upon joining the app
  • Users can share their geo-location information with other users through the app
  • There are zero parental controls 
  • The BIGO LIVE app is free but users can purchase “beans” which they give to their favorite broadcasters as a gift or tip. Broadcasters can then exchange their “beans” for real money
  • Similar to video games, users can level up their rank on the app by logging in daily, watching other live stream videos, and sending/receiving “beans”
  • The higher a broadcaster climbs the ranks the more their live streams will be shown to viewers
  • Broadcasters are rewarded for growing their following which can lead to them doing extreme or dangerous activities
  • Commentary on live videos can often lead to bullying behavior
  • Apps with these types of features are commonly used by predators to target minors

What can parents & educators do?

  • Talk to your students about why they want to use BIGO LIVE and brainstorm other possible apps for them to use to create a positive presence online 
  •  If your child has the app, talk to them about the likelihood of predators contacting them, their videos, images, or comments being shared off the app, and the danger of sharing their geo-location with strangers and suggest deleting the app 
  • Set parental controls to limit downloading the app through Apple or Google Play
  • Have regular discussions with your children about social media and what type of content is appropriate for them to view and what to do if they see content that is not appropriate for them 
  • Talk about how predators use apps like this to target other users and  what they should do if  someone asks them for photos or personal information
  • Ensure that your children have a firm understanding of what is okay to share online (and what should be kept private) BEFORE giving them access to social media
  • Remind your kids that not everyone is who they say they are online

BIGO LIVE in the news

Cybercrimes against women rampant Over 15,000 complaints of bullying, harassment, blackmailing in 7 months
It was recently discovered that BIGO LIVE was being used for paid illicit shows. An agent and the country manager of the app was arrested for the hosting of live-streaming shows of girls for paid customers on the platform.

The Daily Star

'Do your children have any of these apps?' Police warn of potential dangers
[BIGO LIVE] has a lot of mature content and users’ comments are often predatory and explicit.

WDAM7

Conclusion

Most of the popular social media platforms now include a method to live stream to either a private or public audience.  BIGO LIVE makes this seem very attractive by easily monetizing its creators’ content, but due to the open dialogue with strangers and the vulgar and violent content, the app is not safe for students.

Additional Resources

Listen to MomTalk podcast where Beth and Andrea discuss BIGO Live


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