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Cabana — Hang out, watch stuff
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
What's it about?
CABANA - HANG OUT, WATCH STUFF is a group video-chat app from the makers of Tumblr. As with other group video-chat apps, users can import their contacts from their device and then start a group of up to six people. Once you've created a group, you all appear on-screen and can pick any YouTube video to watch together. Any user can tap "Swap Video" at the top of the screen to search for a new video for the group to watch together.
Is it any good?
It's definitely a fun idea to watch YouTube videos with your friends, but this app doesn't make it especially easy to connect with your friends or to search for the videos you most want to see. When you search for YouTube videos on Cabana - Hang out, watch stuff, you don't have much control over what you see: You can't turn on safety mode, and the app's home page defaults to a feed of trending videos, some of which feature crass language and sexual images. It's definitely good that you have to invite people to your chat using their real phone numbers from your device's contacts, so you can only chat with people you really know. The trick is making sure that everyone in your group agrees to pick videos that are appropriate for everyone to watch.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about your rules for messaging and social networking in general and with Cabana - Hang out, watch stuff. How old do your kids have to be to use social networks? What are your family's rules about devices and when they're appropriate to use?
Talk about online safety. What's OK to share on social media, and what's off-limits? Check out our parent guide for privacy and internet safety here to get advice and good conversation starters to use with your kids.
Talk about appropriate content for kids to view. Since there are plenty of items on YouTube that are inappropriate for kids, how can you tell whether your kids are watching videos that are safe for them? What if they click on a suggested video that has mature content?