Popular Apps and Social Networks

It’s important to stay up to date with the latest digital tools your students are using. The Gaggle Safety team often discovers social networks, websites, and mobile apps that pose potential risks to student safety and well-being.

Top Social Networks and Apps Your Students Use

We update this list regularly, so please check back to learn about new apps and networks your students may be using.

Probably a collection of the worst of the internet in one place. Users are mostly anonymous.
8chan (8ch.net)
On 8chan, you can create an imageboard for free with no experience or programming knowledge needed, which can result in extremely inappropriate content.
An image/social board that consists mostly of very inappropriate content.
A companion app to 9gag.com, an image/social board that consists mostly of very inappropriate content.
After School
Advertised as “Funny anonymous school news for confessions & compliments” in the AppleStore, this anonymous app by Ambient is much like YikYak and Whisper. This app allows sexual and graphic images. Learn more about AfterSchool in this Safe Smart Social video.
This mobile app is a video-based chat and is advertised as almost feeling like being in the same room as your friend.
AntiLand (formerly AntiChat) offers the ability to anonymously chat with other users around the world, encouraging students to chat with strangers. Learn everything you need to know as a parent about the app in this video from Smart Social. 
A registration-free video chatting site. Also a mobile app.
ASKfm is a social network where members interact by inviting others to ask anonymous questions. ASKfm has a Safety Center to “empower users with the information, guidance, and tools they need to navigate safely and enjoy the service.” Watch Safe Smart Social’s video to learn more.
A chatting app for couples. Users can share pictures, calendars, chat privately, and doodle on photos.
A classified advertising website launched in 2004 notorious for allowing ads that sell children for sex (sex trafficking). On April 6, 2018, Backpage.com and its affiliated websites were seized by the federal government.
Mobile messaging. Less popular than Whatsapp or Kik.
Best Secret Folder
An app that is used if you don’t want anyone to know that you downloaded a privacy app. The icon is disguised as “My Utilities,” so no one will ever guess there are private photos tucked away in your phone. There is an “Intruder stopper” option that plays fake videos upon opening.
The BeReal app notifies users at random times each day to share unfiltered snapshots of what they're doing during a two-minute window.
A private messaging app that takes from your existing social media profiles and adds them to your “bubble.” The content is posted for all of your friends to see. Direct messaging is one of the main features of this app.
Similar to Tinder, Bumble is a mobile dating app. However, on the Bumble app, women must be the first to make contact. Tweens and teens have been known to lie about their age and create fake accounts on apps like Bumble.
Burn Note
A texting app that erases messages after a set period. Messages are stored until first viewed and then deleted.
A free web-based chat room. Enter any username of your choice and start chatting. There is no signup or age verification. The usernames are often sexually graphic.
This website allows people to anonymously video chat online with anyone—without any security blocks or filters. Frequently people are unclothed in the chats.
Internet horror stories passed around on forums and other sites to disturb and frighten readers. Includes stories from Slender Man, a fictional character that inspired two 12-year-old Wisconsin girls to stab and nearly kill a friend.
Discord was designed for users to talk, chat, hang out, and stay close to friends and communities through voice, video, and text. 
Disney LOL
An app designed especially for kids that mimics most social media apps, but consists entirely Disney-related content.
Disney Mix
An app designed by Disney for safe messaging with your friends. There are strict community guidelines and the app has 24-hour support moderation.
Formerly named Bang With Friends, the DOWN app has been criticized for not delivering what it promises for adults 18 and older. The premise of the website is to set up discrete sexual encounters with Facebook friends. Those friends only know about somebody’s interest when they reciprocate through the app.
Down to Lunch
An app used for inviting a group of friends to a particular place or event. There have been rumors about the app being connected to sex trafficking, but the makers assure that they are not true. The comments by some teenagers who use it mention that scheduled fights, rumors, and sexual encounters are often found on the app.
This site is basically Tumblr meets Pinterest, catering to artists who want to reach out to a broader audience. It has a “not safe for work” (NSFW) mode and does not ask for age at sign up.
Facebook Messenger
Facebook Messenger allows for photo and video exchange as well as phone calls. Access the Parent’s Guide to Facebook from CyberWise to learn more.
App that lets users chat without an internet or phone connection. FireChat uses a hidden iOS feature known as Multipeer Connectivity framework (MCF) to relay messages instead of sending messages using a mobile signal. The free app creates its own network where each mobile device on it becomes a node.
Goal-based location sharing. Kids can share their exact location to a public audience at any time.
Gallery Lock
An app used to hide photos. It lets you put the app icon in “Stealth Mode,” so it doesn’t appear on your phone. It will also catch a photo of any intruder with your phone’s front-facing camera after three failed password attempts.
With the Gas app, users can log on and compliment, or "gas up," their friends. Users take a series of polls about their friends, with questions ranging from thoughtful to flirty. 
Google Duo
Duo is a one-to-one video chatting app that is very easy to use. It can be used over cellular data as well as Wi-Fi.
Dating app serving the LGBTQ community. It's not uncommon for teens and tweens to lie about their age and create fake accounts.
An online social networking website for kids between the ages of 5–16 years. Founded with the intention of creating a safe social networking site for kids.
For iOS and Android, this is a group texting app that can also be used through your native SMS.
A dating app targeted at millennials with the concept that it can match users with someone based on what each user hates. Instead of swiping on people, you swipe on topics.
For both iOS and Android, this app contains categories of interests you can pick from. Based on what you like, post, and the response from the community, you will move up or down the leaderboard.
Hide It Pro
An Android and iOS app disguised as a fully functional audio manager. It’s a secret vault that protects all your secret content. The program will also disappear from the recent apps list, leaving all tracks covered.
A free dating app available on Apple and Android. The app seems to be riddled with spambots. One of the promotional elements involves meeting the people you discover and contains location information.
This site is a virtual world where users control their avatars to navigate and chat with other users. There are over 50 million accounts and the site continues to grow.
Users can post photos and have their followers comment. Instagram has been in the news regarding its growing popularity for trading or selling drugs online.
Jott Messenger
Jott Messenger is an app that allows students to send individual and group messages without a data plan or a Wi-Fi connection. The names of other kids using Jott Messenger are known to be shared with not just strangers, but adult strangers.
A simple Android and iOS app with basic password protection for photos and videos. Capable of sending “self-destructing” photos to others.
An instant message app that also allows photo sharing. It is loaded with sex and porn spammers. Kik also announced Kin, a digital currency for use on its platform; based on the ethereum blockchain, the value of Kin is expected to rise as more people use the service. Gaggle has seen many incidents via Kik with inappropriate photos.
An Android and iOS app that is used to hide photos, PDFs, Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, and text files. The app’s icon is disguised as a calculator. There is a “panic gesture” that closes the app immediately when placing a hand over the screen.
A social networking service where Internet users can keep a blog, journal, or diary.
Live.me is a live streaming video app that allows users to watch or broadcast live-stream videos. Watch "Live.me App Parent Guide" on Smart Social.
This app features auto-video editing. Just add your visual media from your device and Magisto automatically generates a polished video with graphics and background music. You can then share your video with links to many social media sites.
A live video streaming app that allows users to share real-time video with viewers on the app and Twitter. The app has opened doors to kids to be vulnerable to cyberbullying, exposure to inappropriate content, sexual predators, and the list goes on.
A social networking site that lets users tailor their searches for potential social contacts by age and geography. The app is rated for ages 17+.
A social media app that stands for the privacy of its users. It claims there is no tracking of the information posted and the user owns all content posted. MeWe promises a place where there is no censorship. 
MyLOL is a teen dating app designed for students aged 13–19 years old. Built-in features of MyLOL encourage users to send private messages to random strangers.
An anonymous app that connects users to school groups. Due to the anonymity of the app, the content is often inappropriate for children.
Dating website used for sex.
An instant message service that promises chats with random strangers. Also has a website that can be used instead of downloading the app.
Strictly mobile-based social networking. Similar to Facebook.
Peek Video
A rebranded version of the Keek app, this app allows short, personal video uploads. We’ve seen some inappropriate content via email notifications.
A new app created by Twitter that allows users to broadcast live video and audio online. There have been reports of harassment and bullying. It has become a concern of the parents of many of the children and teenagers. The fear is that they are opening themselves up to all situations of abuse. Another concern is the location sharing feature. If users neglect to turn off the location sharing feature, viewers can locate the Periscope user.
Photo Locker
A hidden photo app that lets you securely hide photos and videos of others. It has stealth mode that hides the app from the Android app drawer.
Anonymous photo exchanging with a significant amount of sexual content.
Plenty of Fish (POF)
A cross-platform dating application with easy messaging. Often used for casual sex.
Private Photo Vault
An iOS app with only one purpose: to hide. It allows you to import photos into albums and hide them behind a PIN lock. There is an option to set up a decoy password that launches a different set of pictures.
This messaging app features video chatting. Depending on your status, people will message you with anonymous video clips.
Rec Room is the best place to build and play games together. This game is great fun but children can easily be exposed to bullying and explicit materials.
Network of communities where people can dive into their interests, hobbies, and passions. There is a possibility of children encountering unsuitable content.
Remind is a communication platform that helps educators reach students and parents where they are. Messages are sent in real time to an entire class, a small group, or just a single person.
Roblox offers users the chance to design and upload games, as well as play games that other users have created, but there is a potential for questionable content and predatory behavior. Users can create rooms where avatars engage in simulated sex acts, and there is a chat feature that could be used by predators to exchange inappropriate messages with children.
Sarahah lets people sign up to receive anonymized, candid messages. The app bills itself as a way to “receive honest feedback” from friends and employees, but collects more than just feedback messages. When launched for the first time, it uploads all phone numbers and email addresses in your address book.
Sayat.me is an anonymous website and app on the Google Play Store that allows users to gather feedback from others. Users create a unique feedback URL to share on other social media networks like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and others. Students can write anonymous feedback about that user on their unique URL.
A free dating app available on Apple and Android. The app seems to be riddled with spambots. One of the promotional elements involves meeting the people you discover and contains location information.
Smart Hide Calculator
An Android app that not only hides files but also hides itself. It appears to be a calculator, but entering a code will unlock the photo album.
Smule Sing!
An app gaining a lot of notoriety through celebrity appearances, Smule is totally music-based. It’s most popular feature is the karaoke recorder. The main attraction is the friend-to-friend split-screen singing sessions.
An app that allows users to send photo and videos that the app promises disappear within seconds. Watch this CyberWise video to learn more.
This app uses filters very similar to Snapchat. The app claims to have more variety and allows friends to share directly through existing messaging apps.
An app for chatting with friends using an email address. It has numerous features that let you interact with your friends list. One advertised feature is “self-destruct,” which allows you to make a message disappear after a short period of time.
This site is almost identical to Myspace. It shares many of the same features and is very easy to create an account.
From the creators of MyLOL, Spotafriend is an app strictly for teens that markets itself as the hottest teen swiping app for meeting new friends. Learn more on Smart Social.
This chat app is for users of the popular gaming program called Steam. Users can chat online or through their mobile devices. The games through the program cost money, but a store and chat are free to sign up.
A social network that teenagers use for meeting new people. Allows members to browse the profiles of other members, play games, and share tags and virtual gifts. Has been in the news for “sextortion.”
A video calling app with stickers, filters, and other features, all with an emphasis on group messaging. Tango promotes finding people all over the world.
TBH stands for “to be honest,” and the app is a social networking platform where users anonymously answer questions/polls about their classmates. In October 2017, Facebook acquired TBH. Watch "TBH App Guide for Parents" from Smart Social.
A voting-/photo-based location-sharing dating website often used for casual sex.
A video-sharing app that allows users to create and share short videos under three minutes on any topic.
Group video chat room. Most of the rooms have adult content and are moderated anonymously.
A video chat site similar to Appear.in. What sets it apart are the hundreds of current chat rooms available. No registration is needed to access all the features, including live chat and cam-to-cam video chatting.
A website that allows kids to post anything from anywhere, customize everything, and find and follow anything they want. Gaggle’s Safety Representatives frequently see extremely inappropriate content related to sex/pornography and drugs.
A social media app made specifically for the party atmosphere. Upload videos of what you and your friends are doing at the time, post them, and see how many replies you receive. All promotional material seems to promote the party lifestyle.
Twitch is a live-streaming platform. It involves watching skilled or entertaining gamers engage in playing or competing in video games. 
A video streaming app that tries to make connecting with an audience as simple as possible. It is incredibly easy to start streaming and chatting live with your followers. You can sign up using your Facebook or Twitter account.
This Android app can hide photos in a password-protected folder and be used to edit photos.
A cross-platform chat application with chat and photo sharing.
Volafile is a live file sharing and chat website that needs no registration or membership. It is completely anonymous, so the content is often inappropriate.
Mobile-based messaging. Easy voice/image/location sharing.
VRChat is an online virtual world platform that heavily depends on content created by users. A significant portion of it may contain inappropriate material.
WeChat is a dangerous and free texting, video, and calling app developed in China. Read “WeChat App: What Parents Need to Know.”
Owned by Facebook and similar to Kik, WhatsApp also includes 1:1 video calling. 
Intended for users ages 17 and older, Whisper is an anonymous social “confessional” app that allows users to post whatever’s on their mind. Users type a confession, add a background image, and share it with a user community. Watch this Safe Smart Social video to learn more about Whisper.
Wink connects with Snapchat, shows you Snap profiles of other users, and allows you connect with them or swipe away to the next Snap profile.
Xanga is a website that hosts weblogs, photoblogs, and social networking profiles.
You Now
A live video streaming app where kids as young as seven are videoing themselves to win points. Children are being viewed and followed by adults.
Zobe is an anonymous chat room that doesn’t require registration to use.