Yellow social media app – what parents need to know

By Internet Matters Team on

Yellow is the newest social media app encouraging teens to find new friends on Snapchat and Instagram by allowing them to swipe left or right to connect.

With over 7 million users, some have called it ‘Tinder for Teens’ and its lack of safety features have raised concerns. Here’s what you need to know about the app to keep kids safe.

What is Yellow?

Yellow is a social media app available on Apple and Android smartphones.

Who is using it?

It’s growing in popularity among school-age teens who use it to chat and send pictures to friends and strangers on Snapchat and Instagram.

How it works

Similar to dating app Tinder, it allows people to connect with others on based on their location, with users ‘swiping’ to accept or decline talking to someone based on their profile picture. It is linked to photo-sharing app Snapchat, which allows users to send temporary pictures that disappear after no longer than ten seconds and also Instagram.

If you swipe right on a person who has swiped right on your profile, you can then chat and automatically follow them on Snapchat and Instagram. This means that they can begin sending each other photos right away — even if they don’t know each other.

What are the safety concerns?

Age restrictions and privacy – It’s rated 17 on the apps store but if you try to enter a birth date for a person under 13, the app’s login screen defaults to a birth date that is over 13 and allows you to create an account anyway.

Parents should be aware of the app’s problematic privacy issues.  You can read the app’s privacy policy, which is embedded within its terms of service, to find out more about the types of information collected and shared.

Sharing location – You need to have this enabled in order to find friends nearby and although it allows you to disable this function, the app cannot work without it. Your location is then shown to other potential ‘friends’ along with your name and age

Inappropriate content – the app is rated 17+ so there is the potential that if your child is under this age, they may see content that may not be appropriate for their age.

What can you do to protect your child?

If your child is using the app or wants to start, talk to them about the potential risks and what they hope to gain from it.

Also, consider whether your child is emotionally mature to be exposed to the kind of content that may be posted on the app.

Advise them to be careful about what personal information they are sharing and the potential risks of sharing too much with a potential stranger.

Take some time to go through Yellow’s community guidelines so you and your child are aware of what is allowed on the platform and what is not:

How to report if something goes wrong on the app

If you’d like to report anything that your child has found distressing on the app, you can visit Yellow’s safety centre and report it:

On the app, you can report inappropriate photos or profiles by clicking the flag button in the top left corner of the relevant profile.