Popular Apps Students Are Using

  • Because apps change often, this is only a partial list of popular apps among students. Not all of these apps are used in negative ways, but parents should be aware of apps their kids are using and how they are used.

  •  After School app icon

    After School

    An anonymous user app, usually with explicit content. Although pulled from the Apple App Store, After School already has students using it. This app has potential danger because it allows anyone to "be verified" as a student at a school.

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  • Ask.fm

    Ask.fm

    A social networking app that allows users to ask and answer questions anonymously. Answers can be in text or video format, and users can browse others' profiles with the option of submitting questions directly to them.

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  • Blendr

    Blendr

    A flirting app (with no authentication requirements) used to meet people through GPS location services. Users can send messages, photos and videos and rate other users.

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  • Bumble

    Bumble

    Bumble is similar to the poplar app, "Tinder" however, it requires women to make the first contact. Kids have been known to use Bumble to create fake accounts and falsify their age.

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  • Burn Book

    Burn Book

    Anonymous user app that allows students to post about various topics. The app can be localized yet allow you to see other area schools.

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  • Calculator%

    Calculator%

    This password-protected photo app allows students to hide photos and videos behind an innocent-looking calculator app.

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  • Holla

    Holla

    HOLLA is a live random video chat social networking app that lets users conduct live video chat sessions with random strangers. Registration requires either your phone number or a connection to your Facebook account, and the app insists on accessing your phone's camera and microphone. Default settings upon starting the app connect you to live random chat with users who could be doing literally anything when you connect.

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  • House Party

    House Party

    House Party is a video-focused social media app. Friends can communicate with each other via live video and texts. Because there's no screening and the video is live, there's always the possibility of inappropriate content for children.

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  • Instagram

    Instagram

    An app that allows users to upload or take photos and edit them to be posted on other social networks and shared with the Instagram community. Users can knowingly -- and sometimes unknowingly -- tag the location where the photo was taken (geotagging).

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  • Kik Messenger

    Kik Messenger

    An instant messaging app that allows users to send video, images and texts quickly.

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  • Live.me

    Live.me

    Live.me is a live video streaming app. It allows kids to watch others and broadcast themselves live, earn currency from fans, and interact live with users without any control over who views their streams.

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  • Omegle

    Omegle

    An app mainly used for video chatting. Chat participants are identified only as "you" and "stranger." Users may link to their Facebook account to find chat partners with similar interests.

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  • Snapchat

    Snapchat

    This app allows users to send images -- including explicit content -- to one another, with the images disappearing shortly afterward. Although users believe images are gone, Shapchat has been hacked, affecting millions of users.

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  • Streetchat

    Streetchat

    An unmoderated, anonymous image board that uses geo-location to connect users with others at the same school. Most pictures depict partying and sexual innuendo, and some are overtly racist and sexist. Bullying is always a concern with anonymous messaging and posting, and since Streetchat is local, the bullying can be targeted to the specific school audience.

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  • Tinder

    Tinder

    A dating app that pulls information from users' Facebook profiles. Users can rate profiles and find potential dates via GPS location tracking.

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  • WhatsApp Messenger

    WhatsApp Messenger

    WhatsApp Messenger lets users start video calls and send encrypted text messages, videos, photos, and audio messages to people. Messages can only be sent to other smartphone users who also have WhatsApp.

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  • Whisper

    Whisper

    Anonymous app that allows users to post text over images.

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  • Wishbone

    Wishbone

    Parents need to know that Wishbone is a survey app asking teens to choose between two various things. Though it's rated 17+, the terms of service specify it's for ages 13 and older and forbid sexually explicit and illegal content.

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  • YouNow

    YouNow

    A live video streaming app. YouNow clearly forbids nudity, sexual content, and bullying in its guidelines, but there's no promise of oversight. Profanity is prevalent.

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  • Yubo

    Yubo

    Yubo is an app that is often called the "Tinder for teens" because users swipe right or left to accept or reject the profiles of other users. If two people swipe right on each other, they can chat and hook up via Snapchat or Instagram.

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One anonymous teen's review of an app:

  • "Almost all of the 7th and 8th grade students [at my school] use this app. But because of people using their anonymousity [sic] for evil, rumors have been spread, secrets have been told, and lives have been ruined. I am begging you, please either take off the anonymous option or take down this app altogether. Please. All this has done is create drama, enemies, and rumors -- some even towards me. I am sick of being a target, I am sick of being humiliated, and most of all I am sick of anonymously being told terrible things about myself."