MeetMe App: Too Dangerous for Kids

, you're logged in!
November 8, 2019

Become a member or log in to view this course

Superintendents, Directors and Principals: Request a partnership on this page to unlock our resources for your whole community.

What is the MeetMe app?

  • Formerly the MyYearbook app, MeetMe is a social network that markets itself as a dating app
  • The “Meet” feature allows users to search for users by location, gender, and sexual orientation
  • The “Chat” feature allows direct messaging- users can private message each other, see their photos, and view any posts they’ve made on MeetMe
  • Users can add a picture, bio, photos, and posts to their profile
  • By default, the user’s age and location is visible on their profile
  • The “Live” feature allows users to watch or stream live video on the app. Live streams can be filtered by location, so users can see people streaming nearby.
  • Users are encouraged to send gifts, bought with real money, to live streamers through the app
  • The “Discuss” feature is like a Facebook wall that anyone can post to publicly
  • Discussions can be filtered by topic
  • Users can like or comment on posts
  • During our review of the app, our team found posts that were soliciting users to meet up in person for sexual encounters

Why should parents care?

  • There are several reports of predators using the MeetMe app to target minors
  • The main goal of the app is for strangers to talk to each other which makes this app incredibly dangerous for students
  • By default, all profiles on the app are public. Users can change the settings of their profile so that only friends or MeetMe members can see their profiles
  • Users can see who has looked at their profile (students will be tempted to view a lot of profiles)
  • Every profile our team looked at resulted in receiving a message from that user (all strangers)
  • Content on the app can be inappropriate, negative, and mature. Students will come across profanity and suggestive imagery

Login or join the VIP membership today to view all resources about MeetMe!

Become a member or log in to view this course

Superintendents, Directors and Principals: Request a partnership on this page to unlock our resources for your whole community.

Quotation marks

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

StarStarStarStarStar

Sharon M.

Parent VIP Member

Quotation marks

Josh's presentation about social media was unbelievably fantastic. Our students learned so much about what kids should and shouldn't be doing. The fact that it is such a thoughtful process made it all worthwhile.

StarStarStarStarStar

Director of College Advising

Educator Webinar Attendee

Quotation marks

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

StarStarStarStarStar

Irene C.

Educator Webinar Attendee

This app is listed in the SmartSocial.com Green Zone.
This app is not safe for students to use unsupervised, but a Green Zone app can serve a positive purpose to help a student to navigate social media and someday build an online brand. Read more below to find out why this app is in the Green Zone.

This app is listed in the SmartSocial.com Gray Zone.
Gray Zone apps often contain lots of private & disappearing messages, and strangers can use this to chat with students. Parents should participate in these apps with students to keep them safe. This zone can be a great place for family time since many of these apps can be entertaining, and let your students express themselves. Read more below to find out why this app is in the Gray Zone.

This app is listed in the SmartSocial.com Red Zone.
Red Zone apps often have lots of anonymous features, adult content, and easy contact with strangers. Supervision is strongly suggested on each of these apps or move your kids to a safer zone. All apps require parental supervision, these apps more than others. Read more below to find out why this app is in the Red Zone or view our list of 100+ Apps to find a safer app with your student.
Join our weekly newsletter to learn about the 100+ app reviews at SmartSocial.com

This trend is categorized as a Dangerous Social Media Challenge.
Viral challenges encourage students to do dangerous things to garner likes, views, attention, and subscribers. These challenges can be found across several social networks and may encourage students to perform dangerous activities. SmartSocial.com keeps parents updated on these social media challenges before an incident may occur in your community.

Table of Contents

Kids looking for new friends have no business on the MeetMe app. The name might sound innocent enough, but this dating app is way too racy and dangerous for young users. It’s designed to help strangers, ages 17 and up, connect based on similar interests and location. But police warn predators are using MeetMe. Users can private message each other and participate in livestreams.

Due to the mature content on this app and the potential for in-person meetups, the Smart Social team wants to make sure parents know just how dangerous MeetMe could be for kids.

Parent & educator training video

What is the MeetMe app?

  • Formerly the MyYearbook app, MeetMe is a social network that markets itself as a dating app
  • The “Meet” feature allows users to search for users by location, gender, and sexual orientation
  • The “Chat” feature allows direct messaging- users can private message each other, see their photos, and view any posts they’ve made on MeetMe
  • Users can add a picture, bio, photos, and posts to their profile
  • By default, the user’s age and location is visible on their profile
  • The “Live” feature allows users to watch or stream live video on the app. Live streams can be filtered by location, so users can see people streaming nearby.
  • Users are encouraged to send gifts, bought with real money, to live streamers through the app
  • The “Discuss” feature is like a Facebook wall that anyone can post to publicly
  • Discussions can be filtered by topic
  • Users can like or comment on posts
  • During our review of the app, our team found posts that were soliciting users to meet up in person for sexual encounters

Deputies created a list of apps used by predators to target minors and MeetMe is at the top

KSLA News 12 headline: 15 apps that can be used to target minors, sheriff's office says

“The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office in Florida made national headlines after releasing a list of nine apps that predators could be manipulating to solicit children to commit sexual acts.”

The MeetMe app was at the top of their list.

Source: KSLA News

Sheriffs are warning parents about MeetMe

WECT News 6 headline: Authorities urge parents to know apps that could pose a danger to their kids

“A recent study by the Center for Cyber Safety and Education shows 40 percent of fourth through eighth graders have connected with a stranger online. The Horry County Sheriff’s Office says establishing an online agreement laying out expectations is key to protecting your child.”

“[MeetMe is an app] parents should be aware of”

Source: WECT News

MeetMe app in the news

Apps listed by the law enforcement officials could expose children to unwanted sexual advances, racial slurs and bullying. The list of potentially dangerous apps range from more well-known names like Snapchat, MeetMe and WhatsApp all the way to a Calculator App that allows people to hide photos, videos and browser history.

Newsweek

[A predator is] now charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child. He met his victim, investigators say, through the MeetMe app, and within days, she was gone.

ABC

What parents say about the MeetMe app

NO REDEEMING VALUE!
Don't let your child or teen use this app. Safety is a big issue. I just deleted it off my teen's phone. So many men trying to contact her... It's hard to monitor what your child sees, so just don't let them install it.”

I just found out my 15 year old is using this app to meet girls. 
I had no idea this was on his phone until last night. He met some girl (at least she says she is a girl, but who knows who this person is) and she is now on Snapchat with him and sending him photos of herself topless. This isn't for kids.”

Source: Common Sense Media

What users say about the MeetMe app

“I was almost scammed out of about $2,000 because a scammer (or group of scammers) is very good at what they do. They pretended to be someone attractive, sent me explicit photos, and called me the next day on my personal cell phone claiming to be a police officer saying I was going to be arrested.” 

“There are many people from all across the world who badger, threaten and all around just make it not fun to converse with others due to the massive amounts of people looking for sexual interactions or plainly bullying other users.”

Source: iOS App Store

Why should parents care?

  • There are several reports of predators using the MeetMe app to target minors
  • The main goal of the app is for strangers to talk to each other which makes this app incredibly dangerous for students
  • By default, all profiles on the app are public. Users can change the settings of their profile so that only friends or MeetMe members can see their profiles
  • Users can see who has looked at their profile (students will be tempted to view a lot of profiles)
  • Every profile our team looked at resulted in receiving a message from that user (all strangers)
  • Content on the app can be inappropriate, negative, and mature. Students will come across profanity and suggestive imagery

What can parents do?

  • If your student has the MeetMe app, delete it immediately and discuss the dangers of using it
  • Teach your children to never communicate with strangers on social media
  • Discuss spending limits with your kids and consider changing the settings on their phones so they can’t make purchases without your permission
  • Remind your tweens and teens that people aren’t always who they say they are online. Someone might appear to be their classmate or peer but could really be someone much older with a fake profile
  • Teach your children they can always come to you, or a trusted adult, if they’re contacted by a stranger or if they ever feel uncomfortable online
  • If you’re ready for your student to be public on social media, encourage them to set up a profile on one of the Green Zone Apps so that they can begin to build a positive digital footprint
  • If your student is experiencing unusual behavior, consider contacting the school counselor or a private therapist. We love therapists and suggest one to every student who might be going through a hard time

Conclusion

If your kids want to connect with others who share similar interests, there are lots of safer app options out there. MeetMe has so many potential dangers that we have placed the app in the Smart Social Red Zone as an app that your kids should not have access to.


, can you give us some feedback about this lesson?

Logged in and still not seeing content? This course may not be part of your membership plan. Click here to join.

Share Your Thoughts With Our Team

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

We Release VIP Content Each Month:

Some content is free, others require a VIP membership

Become a Very Informed Parent (VIP) to get our social media suggestions in your email every Tuesday & Thursday.
Dotted arrow to right
Learn about our
"Very Informed Parent" 
VIP Program
Right arrow
Josh Ochs headshot Round
Schools & Districts: Partner with us to protect your community online

Our remote presentations (and website) teaches over a million students each year how to shine online. We teach students how their accounts can be used to create a portfolio of positive accomplishments that impress colleges and employers.

Partner with SmartSocial.com
Right arrow
SmartSocial podcast logo
Join Our Smart Social Podcast each week on iTunes

With over 240 episodes, Josh Ochs interviews psychologists, therapists, counselors, teachers, and parents while showing you how to navigate social media to someday shine online.

Listen on:

Apple Podcasts
Google Podcasts
Youtube
Spotify

Here are some of the latest resources at SmartSocial.com:

MeetMe App: Too Dangerous for Kids

Fill out this form to receive free tips each week

Note: Many of our 400+ resources now require a low-cost membership to help us deliver great research and expert safety guides. Become a member today, login here, or have your district request a partnership to make these resources free for your community.