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.
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 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?
- Apple App Store Rating: 17+
- Google Play Rating: T (Teen)
- Developer’s Website: Yubo (Based in France, Owned by TWELVE APP SAS)
- Terms of Service
The Yubo app in the news
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
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
[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?
- 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?
- 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
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.