Have you heard of the Fling app? It is being described as the modern “message in a bottle”, an app that allows you to send a message out across the world. Here’s our guide for parents:
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What is it?
Fling – Message the World is a messenging app which is free to download for iOS and Android. The creators Unii describes it as “an exciting way to share life’s moments. Anyone, anywhere, can simply grab their smartphone and fling a photo, video or text message to the world.”
Users write a photo, video or text message and it gets sent (the fling) to 50 random users anywhere around the world.
When a user ‘flings’ a message, they have no idea where it will end up. If your fling ends up getting any replies, you can then start privately messaging individuals by double tapping on their reply and composing a new message.
Think of it like a modern “message in a bottle”.
Why should you be concerned about it?
1. You can chat to strangers
The premise of the app is to connect you with random people around the world. Unlike other messaging apps like Whatsapp and Snapchat, you don’t have friends, it’s just a way of connecting with strangers.
Although only username and general location are shared when you fling a message, once you start chatting you can share phone numbers and other details.
You might also find our Instagram and Snapchat guides useful.
2. Anyone can set up an account.
All you need is an email, you put in your first name, give gender (optional) and birthday. It is intended for ages 13 up but there’s no verification of age. You could use a false name.
3. You can receive unsavoury messages
TechCrunch noted that when testing the app, they received a topless photo and a penis shot.
You can swipe right on a message you receive to report any unsavoury content you receive.
5. Messages remain forever
Unlike Snapchat, the shared messages don’t disappear, so if you do want to fling anything rude or unpleasant it’s going to hang around on a lot of other people’s phones. Remember never share images that you would not like to see again.
As Wayne Denner advises, “As always, think twice before posting, look after your privacy and don’t give out any personal information as strangers may contact you.”
You might also find this useful – 11 Apps & Sites to be Aware Of. Make sure you are a webwise parent.