Is your tween or teen using the Likee app to create and share videos? I’ve been looking into this app to find out more, and here’s what parents need to know about Likee.
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With promises that you can gain a fanbase, meet celebrities and talented artists, and earn a living, Likee is becoming a hot social media app with tweens and teens. The fact that it’s free helps with the popularity, but there are some legitimate security, privacy and content concerns that may not be initially apparent.
If your child uses Likee, read on to familiarise yourself with the app and things you should know as a parent.
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Likee: A Parent’s Guide
What is Likee?
Likee, formerly known as LIKE Video, is a free social media app available on iOS or Android, designed for creating and sharing short videos. The developers describe it as “a global video creation and sharing platform”.
Users can upload videos and add stickers, filters, music and more to their video. The app promises that you can quickly discover interesting content that you will love through their smart recommendation technology.
It also promises that you can meet “tens of millions of celebrities and talented artists from around the world, but also get to make friends with young people from your city or near you!” – it has a “Nearby” feature letting you see who is near you.
It also seems to be promising that you can grow a fan base, gain billions of video views, earn a living and more…
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How Does It Work?
When you have downloaded the free app, you can either aadd a mobile number or Facebook to sign in to set up an account. If using a phone number, you will be texted a 6-digit code to input to get access.
Once you log in you can:
- Upload your own video and add stickers, filters, add music, etc
- Browse the millions of videos on there
- Follow other people
- Search keywords or hashtags
- Watch videos selected for you – there’s a personalised video feed designed for you based on what you watch, like, and share
- Receive and send direct messages
- Earn Diamonds and Beans
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What Do Parents Need to Be Aware Of?
#1. The Minimum Age to Use Likee is 16
Likee is rated 12+ on the Apple Store and Google Play Store recommends Parental Guidance. Technically, 16 is the minimum age according to Likee’s own terms and conditions. It says that under 16s must use the app under parental supervision.
#2. Likee claims it is not for children
#3. Strangers can message your child
Worryingly, strangers can message your tween or teen. In fact the Likee Messages Screen is actually labelled “Stranger’s Messages”!
#4. Your content could be shared
Videos can be shared onto various other apps like phone messages, Instagram, Snapchat and Whatsapp. So this means anything posted on Likee could be shared elsewhere.
#5. Deleting your account is not straightforward
To delete an account you have to describe why you want to delete it and enter your email or phone number.
#6. There are limited content restrictions
Likee is an app that is open to the world, so there’s potentially no restrictions on content posted on the app. Your tween could see content that is not age appropriate.
#7. There are in-app purchases
There is a Wallet system where you earn, and can also pay for, Diamonds and Beans so there is the potential for your tween or teen to spend on this app, but it’s unclear what these can be used for and there was no information available on the Likee website.
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Privacy on Likee
When you create an account on Likee it is public by default, but there are privacy settings available on the app that allow you to set your account to private so that other users cannot view your uploaded content. It’s important to hide location on profile as well.
Other options under the Privacy Settings allow you to disable comments on videos, select who can send you a message – you can also completely disable messages. You can also set it so that other people cannot save your videos.
There is the risk that someone who is a stranger to your child could directly contact them on the app, but the privacy default for messages is set to ‘Friends’, which means a random person cannot start messaging a user unless they are mutually following each other on the platform. It’s important to remind your child that they should only follow people they know in real life.
Likee does have a Parental Controls option. Once this is turned on, it says that it will filter out any inappropriate content from teenagers as well as disabling private messaging, cash withdrawals for paid items and it also makes you set a password to prevent your teen switching back to normal mode.
The developers also state that they will permanently ban any users who violate the community rules. And they invite people to contact them by email if this happens.
You may decide not to allow your tween or teen to use the Likee app, but if you do then here are some tips.
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Tips for Parents if Your Tween or Teen is Using Likee
#1. Try it yourself
Try it yourself and get your tween or teen to show you the basics. This is one of the best ways of learning and understanding what it’s about.
#2. Have a conversation again about internet safety
Remind your tween or teen that they should tell you if they see anything strange or receive any adverse messages. And that they should never divulge any personal information to a stranger.
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#3. Talk about posting videos and connecting with strangers online
Have a frank discussion about what posting videos means in terms of privacy and that they are showing the world something about themselves. Discuss talking to strangers online. Should you? What are the risks?
#4. Set time limits
Time limits are important for any app use. Encourage your tween or teen to be part of setting time limits so they don’t go down the proverbial rabbit hole.
#5. Remain vigilant
Even though you have talked to your child about being safe, it’s important to remain vigilant and check in regularly with your child. Keep the conversation going and stay interested and informed.
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Does your tween or teen use Likee? What are your thoughts on it? Leave a comment below and let us know – we’d love to hear from you!