Yellow app has been coined “Tinder for teens.” And yes... teens in Edmonton are using it!
Yellow is a social media platform aimed at kids aged 13-17 and it's claim is to meet new friends. The description on iTunes includes “Friendship is going to the next level! It's like being in a party and meeting cool people every 10 seconds.” Just the thing to make parents cringe!
The app is very similar to the popular dating app Tinder, in that you swipe left if you are not interested in a user's profile and you swipe right if you are. If both parties swipe right on each other's profiles, Yellow connects the users through their Snapchat or Instagram accounts.
Being the analyst I am, I decided to try Yellow out. But not without reading the Terms and Conditions first. Yellow clearly states that it has the right to “host, store, use, display, reproduce, adapt, translate, amend, edit, distribute, in whole or in part” any content provided by the user. So once a photo is uploaded to Yellow, they can use it however they please. This is another good reminder to talk to your kids about what they share online. Once, it’s out there, it’s out of their control.
It didn't take me long to find lots of Edmonton teens using the app, posting some suggestive photos and sharing their private information like full names, birthday, city, and profile names. After a bit of digging, I was able to find one boy's Facebook profile, address, parents' names, and hockey schedule.
There is also a group video feature in Yellow in which users can have a live feed with four friends. As I did not have any Yellow friends, I was unable to try out this live broadcast feature. However, in the Yellow Parent Guide, it states that during the live feed, any Yellow user can view the broadcast and users can add the creeper… I mean viewer… as a friend.
The good news is that I was "reported" by Yellow Authorities because my profile picture was of a flower instead of a person and I could no longer search within the app. The bad news is that I couldn't actually delete my account. They just kept giving me another chance to change my profile pic!
So what does this mean for parents? Talk to your kids about the importance of keeping their private information private. It didn't take me long to find the names of that boy's family members. By posting too much info, teens can be risking the safety of themselves and other members of their family. Remind them that people online are not always who they claim to be. It might be a creepy 39 year old mom that they are chatting with instead of a fellow 13 year old!
If your child is using Yellow or is interested in the app, go through the Teen Guide with them so they have a better understanding of how to stay safe.