NOTE: This app closed in 2017. It is no longer available in the Apple iOS App Store, but ooVoo has since returned to the Google Play store.
What is ooVoo?
65% of all ooVoo users are younger than 25 years old
ooVoo is one the world’s largest video and messaging apps. With over 100 million users from 130 countries and 54 MM in the US alone, we consider this app to be popular with kids under 25.
ooVoo suggests that kids be at least 13 years old to create an account. They also brag that 65% of all users are younger than 25 years old.
Young people prefer ooVoo over other video apps because of its popular features:
ooVoo users can video-chat with up to 12 people at a time
- ooVoo has free video calls – users can video-chat with up to 12 people at a time
- Free text messaging – users can send text, pictures and videos to each other
- Unlimited free voice calls – users can talk to other users from around the world with no charge for calls
- Patented SuperClear™ & Superior Audio technology – which allow users to have a high quality picture and sound while they are talking to friends and family
- Free screen share
- ooVoo works on any type of network – 4G, 3G, LTE and WiFi-only devices
Steps to set up an account on ooVoo:
Don’t use your real name or any identifiable personal information as your ooVoo ID
To register you can use your email or login with your Facebook account.
ooVoo will ask you to:
- Create an ooVoo ID (it will be your username, which you won’t be able to change later)
- Write your name, that will be a title of your account (you can change it anytime)
- Give your date of birth
- And to choose your gender
How to find your friends on ooVoo:
ooVoo can integrate with your phone’s address book, Gmail, Facebook and WhatsApp accounts and find your friends, who have ooVoo.
In 2015 ooVoo introduced a new face recognition feature:
New software introduced by ooVoo is able to read human emotions
In March 2015, ooVoo introduced a new software feature that reads human emotions. The company says it could be useful in business and politics. Political pollsters are planning to use it in the 2016 US presidential election.
(From Daily Mail)
Researchers fed the computer with pictures showing human expressions. Even ooVoo admits it could worry some people because of privacy issue.
What should parents know about ooVoo?
Parents should be aware that ooVoo is used by predators to contact underage kids
ooVoo is used by predators to contact underage kids.
- This year kids from the US and UK (age 9, 10, 11 and 13 years old) were contacted by pedophiles on ooVoo.
From Mirror, UK; Whio, US; and Hull Daily Mail, UK
- In February 2015, men hijacked some ooVoo accounts to make inappropriate advances to children.
From The Leicester Mercury, UK
- In March 2015, students got requests for naked images on ooVoo.
From BBC, UK
What can parents do to keep their kids safe on ooVoo?
As ooVoo integrates with Facebook friend list, ask your kids to only accept Facebook friends they know in real life
- Consider having your kids delete this app
- Teach your kids to do not use real/full names (or any identifiable information) as their profile or user name
- Profile pictures shouldn’t reveal information that can be used to locate your kids home/school address
- In security settings under “who can find me” should be set to “people who know my email address or ooVoo ID” or “nobody”
- As ooVoo integrates with your Facebook friend list, ask your kids to only accept Facebook friends they know in real life (also monitor their Facebook friends yourself).
More on How to use ooVoo Safely on Be Web Smart
What can teachers and parents do to keep students safe online?
Ask your kids not accept adult social media friends without talking with you
- If your kids have an ooVoo account – have a conversation with them and consider having them delete this app. Instead, use Facetime on an iPhone.
- Ask kids to not share their real names, age, phone number or address on ooVoo or any anonymous apps or websites.
- Ask your students to not share their ooVoo ID or email address on their social media pages.
- Ask your kids not accept adult social media friends without talking with you.
- Tell your kids that they can always come to you if they have questions or concerns about their online activity or about other online users.
- Teach your kids to be Light, Bright & Polite in real life, as well as online.