Top Social Networks & Apps Your Kids Use
Last updated: February 2016
Gaggle’s Student Safety Representatives continue to discover websites and apps that pose potential risks to students. Here’s a list that we continue to compile. Did we miss any? You can submit a website or app to be included in “Top Social Networks & Apps Your Kids Use.”
Probably a collection of the worst of the Internet in one place. Users are mostly anonymous.
Image/social board consisting 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.
Ask.fm is a social network where members interact by inviting others to ask anonymous questions. It was acquired by Ask.com in August 2014 and is now based in Dublin, Ireland. Ask.fm has a Safety Center to “empower users with the information, guidance and tools they need to safely navigate and enjoy the service.” Watch this Safe Smart Social video to learn more.
Mobile messaging. Less popular than Whatsapp or Kik.
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 texting app that erases messages after a set period of time. Messages are stored until first viewed and then deleted.
An app for users to anonymously post pictures and text. It has become a collection of harsh comments and threats from students directed at their peers. The app’s developer is warning that nasty posts are not anonymous and your IP address can and will be tracked if you write something illegal. Watch this video from Safe Smart Social to learn more about Burnbook.
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.
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 discretely set up sexual encounters with Facebook friends. Those friends only know about somebody’s interest when they reciprocate through 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.
A leading social network that’s known to be used as a tool for bullies. A Google+ Hangout is an easy way for anyone to conduct private video chatting.
Google Drive (Docs)
Students can connect with outside users and communicate by sharing a document even when email is limited to in-district communications or turned off. Our Gaggle Safety Management Student Safety Representatives have seen instances of sexting, including inappropriate images, shared via Google Docs. We’ve also seen bullying, threats of physical violence and drug references shared with other users.
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.
Hide It Pro
An Android and iOS app disguised as a fully functional audio manager. It is actually a secret vault that protects all your secret content. The program will disappear from the recent apps list, too, leaving all tracks covered.
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.
Facebook, but with videos. Users post and share short videos. We’ve seen some inappropriate content via email notifications.
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 hand over screen.
A new service that allows people to send anonymous email. Launched in 8/2014 and suspended a week later due to violating a 3rd party API’s “opt-in” policies. They are working on making this app available again.
A social networking service where Internet users can keep a blog, journal or diary.
A live video streaming app that allows users to share real time video with viewers on the app and on 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.
Top “Revenge-porn” website.
One of the original social networks, still around but offering less personalization options as in the past. Gaining popularity with younger demographic.
Dating website basically 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.
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 are able to have group video chats. Users are able to have group chats.
Strictly mobile-based social networking. Similar to Facebook.
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 is 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 large 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 it can 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.
Good and bad. Users are mostly anonymous.
Anonymous social app created by Facebook that allows people to create a “room” on any topic. A room is a feed of photos, videos, and text. The rooms can be public or private.
Facebook has launched a Snapchat-like mobile app where friends send you photos and videos, but you can’t view an incoming message until you respond with a photo or video of your own.
An app geared towards high school students that allow kids to share instant school specific news and happenings by talking “smack” about others.
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.
App that allows users to send photo and videos that the app promises disappear within seconds. Watch this CyberWise video to learn more.
Sister website of Ask.fm.
An iOS app with only one purpose; to hide. An app disguised to be a calculator. Entering a code will unlock the photo album.
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 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 voting-/photo-based location-sharing dating website often used for casual sex.
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 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 cross-platform chat application with chat and photo sharing.
This app allows users to post short videos. Kids are using Vine to physically hurt and publicly humiliate each other.
Mobile-based messaging. Easy voice/image/location sharing.
Similar to Kik. Same purpose and probably more popular.
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 in order to win points. Children are being viewed and followed by adults.
Would you like more in depth information about the most popular social network sites? We have compiled a new series of posts called “Social Network Spotlight,” written to provide educators unique insights into popular social networks students are using.
The Gaggle Safety Management team also shares real student stories regularly. Read our blog to learn more about the situations we see on a daily basis.