From the creators of MyLOL, Spotafriend is an app strictly for teens that markets itself as the hottest teen swiping app for meeting new friends.
What is the Spotafriend app?
- Spotafriend is an app strictly for teens designed to help them find friends
- Even though Spotafriend functions like dating apps Tinder and Bumble, it claims it is not a dating app
- When signing up for an account, users can either sign up with their Facebook account or email address
- After filling out information like gender, birthday, and location, users are asked to take a selfie for age verification. The photo is then reviewed and if approved users can use the app
- Users are shown other Spotafriend users in their area and are encouraged to rate them by swiping right or left
- If a user wants to connect with another user, they swipe right. If both users swipe right, then they become a match and can begin a private chat
- Super swipes can be used to prioritize your profile to a member you swiped right on
- An ultimate membership is available for purchase. The membership grants access to more super swipes, priority profile listings, and an unlimited ability to change accidental left or right swipes
Why should parents care?
- Although the app specifically states in the app store that it is not meant for kids under the age of 17, their marketing encourages kids 13-19 years old to use the app
- The app uses “age recognition software” but there have been instances of adults being able to easily bypass the age restriction and software
- This app can be used by predators to try and target victims nearby
- Spotafriend uses geo-location which is a very dangerous feature that shares the user’s location with strangers
- Users are encouraged to chat with strangers in their area
- Apps that encourage users to rate others based on their looks can have a negative impact on teens’ self-esteem
- Users can forward profiles to other social networks without the profile owner even being aware that their information is being shared
Spotafriend app in the news
Police call the teen cellphone app, Spotafriend ‘alarming’ –The San Diego Union Tribune
It’s possible to change your age once you’re logged in, and multiple adults have had no trouble posing as teens [on Spotafriend] –Common Sense Media
What can parents do?
- If your teen has the Spotafriend 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
- Discuss how apps that encourage users to judge others solely based on their looks can have a negative impact
- Teach your teen to never try and meet a stranger in-person that they met online
- Consider creating a cellphone contract with your children before giving them access to a device
- Outline which apps are okay to download and which apps aren’t. Ensure you mention that they must ask for permission before downloading anything
- Get access to our “Neighborhood Watch For Digital Safety” in our private Facebook group when you sign up for Parent University