Is the Yubo App Safe for Students?

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July 27, 2020

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What is the Yubo app?

  • Yubo markets itself as a way to chat and livestream with new friends
  • The app was formerly named Yellow
  • Yubo’s website states users must be 13+ and have parental permission
  • Users ages 13 - 17 can use their own Yubo community, separate from adults. However, there is no age verification to enter the adult chat area
  • New users provide their name, birthday, gender, photo, and phone number. They can opt to have their ID verified through a website called Yoti. Verified users have a yellow check displayed on their profiles

Why should parents care about the Yubo app?

  • The Yubo app integrates with Instagram and Snapchat, encouraging other users to connect with your student on those platforms
  • Predators can easily pose as tweens or teens on Yubo
  • Users report that livestreams can involve foul language, racial slurs, mature talk and gestures, nudity, and drug use
  • Anonymous viewers can comment on and record livestreams
  • Yubo markets itself as a way to make friends, but it’s often used as a dating app

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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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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.

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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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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.
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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

Nicknamed “Tinder for Snapchat” and “Tinder for Teens”, the Yubo app markets itself as a way to make friends. But not everyone using this app is who they say they are- and that could put young users at risk.

Parent & educator training video

What is the Yubo app?

Yubo App Guide screen shot
  • Yubo markets itself as a way to chat and livestream with new friends
  • The app was formerly named Yellow
  • Yubo’s website states users must be 13+ and have parental permission
  • Users ages 13 - 17 can use their own Yubo community, separate from adults. However, there is no age verification to enter the adult chat area
  • New users provide their name, birthday, gender, photo, and phone number. They can opt to have their ID verified through a website called Yoti. Verified users have a yellow check displayed on their profiles

Why students like Yubo

  • Yubo app users can join group livestreams
  • Students can have fun swiping through profiles
  • If two users swipe right on each other’s photos, they become a match. They can then chat or share Instagram and Snapchat usernames
  • The app offers a Q & A game called "To Be Honest" where users ask other users questions about themselves
  • Users can earn rewards for recruiting other people to use Yubo
  • The Yubo app is free. Users can pay for a premium subscription to up their visibility and get rid of ads

Where is the Yubo available?

The Yubo app in the news

Orlando Sentinel headline: "Man drove 90 miles to Ocoee to sexually abuse girl he met on teen friendship app Yubo, cops say"
A man drove roughly 90 miles... where he sexually abused a girl younger than 16... The girl told detectives she had met [the 28 year-old suspect] through Yubo, an app and social media network designed for members of Generation Z. According to an arrest affidavit, the girl said she thought [the man] was 16 years old. Orlando Sentinel
Forbes headline: Social platform for teens Youbo triples its daily new users amid the coronavirus
One of the criticisms that Yubo has faced is that its socialization element is a veil for dating, and the platform is, in a way, a Tinder for teens. [But the company's CEO says] Yubo’s core use are group chats and the intention is for users to socialize in a group setting. He says that these rooms offer various activities, like cooking, singing battles, playing games — activities that these teenagers would have been doing outside anyway, except Yubo offers it online. Forbes
Newsweek headline: British woman posed as teenage boy to sexually assault young girls in 'truly shocking' case of deception
[The adult female suspect] had created a profile for a fake teenage boy on apps [including] Yubo to talk to girls, even disguising her appearance to make her seem more like a teenage boy. After gaining the girls' trust, [the suspect] would arrange to meet up with her victims under the guise of this false identity and sexually assault them. Newsweek

Why should parents care about the Yubo app?

Yubo App Guide by Smart Social
  • The Yubo app integrates with Instagram and Snapchat, encouraging other users to connect with your student on those platforms
  • Predators can easily pose as tweens or teens on Yubo
  • Users report that livestreams can involve foul language, racial slurs, mature talk and gestures, nudity, and drug use
  • Anonymous viewers can comment on and record livestreams
  • Yubo markets itself as a way to make friends, but it’s often used as a dating app

What can parents do?

Yubo App Teen Safety Guide
Yubo App's Teen Safety Guide on the company's website
  • Explain to your children why it's dangerous to share their private information with strangers online
  • If your teen is using the Yubo app, have a discussion with them about the dangers of this app and urge them to delete it
  • Have your teen read the Yubo app's Safety Guide for Teens
  • Use the app's privacy settings to hide your child's location and prevent strangers, who are swiping through, from seeing their profile

Conclusion

Do you teach your kids not to talk to strangers? The whole point of the Yubo app is to connect with strangers. While students might have fun chatting with new friends, there are a lot of red flags with this app that parents should be aware of before allowing their children to use it.


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Is the Yubo App Safe for Students?

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