A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
BIGO LIVE- LIVE STREAM offers tools to let you livestream at the tap of a button or create and post online video blogs. After signing up through an existing account like Facebook or Google, you can browse popular, new, or nearby content. While watching a livestream, you can join a live chat, share the stream via social media, or send “gifts” to the streamer in the form of Beans. Beans indicate a streamer's popularity and can be traded in for real-world cash. The app has some similarity with mobile games, assigning levels and ranks to users and letting them gain XP (experience) by signing in every day, watching other streamers and sending them gifts. In-app purchases let users buy Beans and other features.
Is it any good?
This is another of those social media apps that can be used to create and share entertaining content, but is just as often used to promote violent or sexually suggestive themes. Primarily used by gamers and aspiring performing artists, the 17+ rated app uses AI to verify the age of its users, but it's not a perfect system. Its childlike app store logo and game-like presentation appears designed to attract younger audiences and plays to their desires for fame and popularity. A big chunk of BIGO LIVE - Live Stream's user-generated videos are of scantily clad young women (some appear to be under 18, though it's difficult to tell), with commentary ranging from inappropriate to abusive. An internet search for BIGO LIVE yields countless videos of suggestive imagery of young women. Because there's no age verification beyond AI, and it asks users to reveal key personal information like age, gender, and location, it's not safe for younger teens. And while its recording and editing tools aren't bad, it promotes the worst in online narcissism, rewarding users who collect fans and achieve high ranking with real-world cash. All told, this is one “free” app that could cost your kids a lot more than money.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about creating online content with apps like BIGO LIVE - Live Stream. What shouldn't you share online? What should you do if you receive abusive or otherwise inappropriate comments?
Talk about the risks and benefits of livestreaming. Why is it fun? What are some of the potential problems?
Discuss using apps like this one and staying safe. If you choose to interact with strangers online, what is the safest way to do it? Should we share our location? What are the signs that we should stop communicating with someone?
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
- Price: Free
- Pricing structure: Free (with optional in-app purchases)
- Release date: March 11, 2016
- Category: Social Networking
- Size: 96.50 MB
- Publisher: BIGO TECHNOLOGY PTE. LTD.
- Version: 3.8.1
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 7.0 or later; Android 4.0 and up
- Last updated: February 12, 2020
Our editors recommend
For kids who love social networking and teen apps
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.