BOO! - Video Chat Messenger with Magical Effects
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?
BOO! - VIDEO CHAT MESSENGER WITH MAGICAL EFFECTS is a social-networking app where users record video content and add drawings, captions, animated effects, and filters. Users can share their videos with other users or post their creations automatically to Musical.ly, Snapchat, or Instagram. They can also email their video or save it to their device's camera roll. Just like in Snapchat, you can add friends by scanning a special bar code with another device; you can also search for friends by username and request to add other users' profiles.
Is it any good?
Though this app has features that will attract kids, there's nothing new that other platforms don't already offer, and some might have concerns about the app collecting personal information. The developer's website claims that BOO! is "completely private and safe," and it's definitely nice that your profile is private by default. It's downright hard to search for friends you don't already know in real life, and it's more likely that you'd use BOO! - Video Chat Messenger with Magical Effects to chat with people you already know rather than using it to find new friends online. Plus, features such as video chat, animated effects, and lip-synch-ready songs will feel familiar to teens, and each video or photo you create can be automatically shared to Musical.ly, Snapchat, or Instagram.
While those connections are nice, unfortunately they highlight what's lacking. There aren't as many effects available here, nor are there as many songs or as many filters as you might find elsewhere. Also, you really can't do much in this app without sharing your email address, phone number, and contact list, which may feel too intrusive for kids and parents. Ultimately, it's useful if you're looking for a one-stop shop for recording and sharing your content to other social networks; but, if your child is already using one of those other tools, you may not need the extra step of using yet another app.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about your family's rules for privacy and social networks. Talk about when it's OK to share information and what kind of information should be kept private. What are your rules around your kid using BOO! - Video Chat Messenger with Magical Effects?
Families can talk about the long-term effects of sharing what are assumed to be private moments through social media apps.
Parents also can remind kids that nothing, once posted to the internet, ever really goes away -- and it can come back to haunt them.
For kids who love social networking
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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.