Top Social Networks & Apps Your Kids Use
Last updated: December 2016
Gaggle Safety Representatives often discover social networks, websites and apps that pose potential risks to students. This list is updated regularly.
Probably a collection of the worst of the Internet in one place. Users are mostly anonymous.
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.
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.
A registration-free video chatting site. Also a mobile app.
Ask.fm is a social network where members interact by inviting others to ask anonymous questions. Ask.fm has a Safety Center to “empower users with the information, guidance and tools they need to navigate safely and enjoy the service.” Watch this Safe Smart Social video to learn more.
A chatting app for couples. Users can share pictures, calendars, chat privately and doodle on photos.
Mobile messaging. Less popular than Whatsapp or Kik.
This is an older, defunct website that has relaunched as an app on both Android and iOS. The main component is video group chatting. Utilizing your contacts, it adds poeple to your friends’ list.
Best Secret Folder
An iOS 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 plays fake video upon opening.
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.
A texting app that erases messages after a set period. Messages are stored until first viewed and then deleted.
This website allows people to anonymously video chat online with anyone and 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.
An app designed by Disney for safe messaging with your friends. There are strict community guidelines and the app has 24-hour support moderation.
DOWN – Dating
Formerly named Bang With Friends it has been criticized for not delivering what it promises for adults 18 and older. The premise of the website is to setup 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 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.
Students can receive communications from unknown users. Gaggle Safety Management has found evidence of sexting taking place via Dropbox.
Facebook & Facebook Messenger
A leading social network. Facebook Messenger allows for photo and video exchange as well as phone calls. Learn more about Facebook in this Safe Smart Social video. Access the Parent’s Guide to Facebook from CyberWise.
An anonymous app for high schoolers to post confessions. Users are validated that they’re in high school through their Facebook accounts.
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.’
Fling / Super Fling
An app that allows you to send a text, photo or video to 50 completely random users anywhere in the world.
Goal-based location sharing. Kids can share their exact location to a public audience at any time.
An Android 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.
Duo is a very easy to use 1-to-1 video chatting app. It can be used over cellular data as well as Wi-Fi.
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 app is a group texting app that can also be used through your native SMS.
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 disappear from the recent apps list, too, 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.
Users can post photos and have their followers comment. Recently Instagram has been in the news regarding its growing popularity for trading or selling drugs online.
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 service that also allows photo sharing. It is loaded with sex and porn spammers. Gaggle has seen many incidents via this app with inappropriate photos. Watch a real story about an incident on Kik involving a real student.
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 app immediately when placing a hand over the screen.
A social networking service where Internet users can keep a blog, journal or diary.
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. The content is similar.
This app is a mobile sex finder. Available on Android and iOS, this sexually explicit app is for adults only. Signing up for a membership is easy and the age verification is very minimal.
Top “Revenge-porn” website.
An anonymous app that connects users to school groups. Due to the anonymity of the app, the content is often inappropriate for children.
An instant message service that promises chats with random strangers. Also has a website that can be used instead of downloading the app.
A dating site that contains very inappropriate sexual content.
A popular video chat among teens that is similar to Skype. It is a free download and lets you chat and video call others using a webcam. You can have group video chats. Users can have group chats.
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.
A hidden photo app on Android. This app 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 (Calculator%)
The app appears to be a simple calculator, but by punching in a code will unlock a private photo album. It allows private photos and videos to be hidden behind a calculator icon, called “Calculator%”.
Private Photo Vault
An iOS app with only one purpose: to hide. It allows you 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.
An app featuring free voice calling and group chats. You can store the recordings on the app permanently or they will expire after 48 hours.
This app features user uploaded photos. It is very similar to Instagram. There is also a private message feature.
An app made for meeting people to flirt. The app is for 13+ but with no real age verification, anyone could sign up.
In this app, you create slideshows using your photos on any device. You can add music, share with friends or make the slideshow public for the world to see.
An app geared towards high school students that allow kids to share instant school specific news and happenings by talking “smack” about others. On March 25, 2016, Giuseppe Stuto, Co-Founder & CEO of Smack High, contacted us and said, “Since December (2015), our new mobile app does not support anonymous smack talk and is now a group messenger application. Our app today has several moderators who do not condone any form of offensive, mean chatter, and we actually ban users who do so.”
Smart Hide Calculator
An Android app which not only hides files, but also hides itself. It appears to be a calculator. Entering a code will unlock the photo album.
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.
Snap (formerly Snapchat)
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.
An iOS app with only one purpose; to hide. An app disguised to be a calculator. Entering a code will unlock the photo album.
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 signup.
Streetchat – Local Message Board
In April 2014, a new App called “Gaggle – Local Message Board” appeared on iTunes, and subsequently the Google Play Store, which is not affiliated with our company. It has since been renamed “Streetchat – Local Message Board.” Watch this video to learn more.
A private video chat app featuring live video editing and special effects. Only those you add can see your video. You can also save your videos to your camera roll. This app is exclusive to iOS.
A social network that teenagers use for meeting new people that allows members to browse the profiles of other members, play games, and share tags and virtual gifts. Recently in the news for “sextortion.”
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.
This app is for iOS only. Its primary use involves gaining followers through hosting live talk shows, live text-based conversations with your friends.
Free video chatting. All you need to enter a chat room is the name of the room. There are no sign-ups or log-ins to remember.
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.
A voting-/photo-based location-sharing dating website often used for casual sex.
Group video chat room. Most of the rooms have adult content and are moderated anonymously.
A mobile app that allows users to compete against friends and people around the world. The app itself is fine, but there is a play a random person feature and a chat feature. Those combined could be a little dangerous.
App used to message your phone contacts anonymously.
A website that allows kids to post anything from anywhere, customize everything, and find and follow anything they want. Our Student 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.
A micro-blogging site. Can contain inappropriate links, images and videos, and can be shared publicly or to a chosen group privately. Visit Twitter’s “Safety Center” to see how they are committed to building a safer Twitter.
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 signup using your Facebook or Twitter account.
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.
Intended for users age 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.
Xanga is a website that hosts weblogs, photoblogs, and social networking profiles.
Similar to ask.fm, but views are limited to those geographically close to the poster. Yik Yak is now blocked in 85% of all high schools, according to the company. Watch this CyberWise video to learn more.
A live video streaming app, where kids as young as 7 years of age are videoing themselves to win points. Children are being viewed and followed by adults.