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ChatLive, Random Video Chat

App review by
Neilie Johnson, Common Sense Media
ChatLive, Random Video Chat App Poster Image
Live video chat app with privacy issues, predators.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Created for entertainment only. Not intended for educational use. 

Ease of Play

Functions easily and well aside from bad match-making.

Violence

No violence in the app itself, however user-created chat, video, and attachments could contain references to or images of violence. 

Sex

No sex in the app itself, however user-created chat, video, usernames, and attachments could contain sexual references to or images. 

Language

No profanity in the app itself, however user-created chat, video, and attachments could contain bad language. 

Consumerism

VIP service costs $7.49/week which is supposed to allow users to select a gender to chat with.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

No substance use within the app itself, however user-created chat, video, and attachments could contain references to or images of drugs, alcohol, and smoking. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that ChatLive, Random Video Chat is a paid social networking app for users 18 and older. Though it offers a free three-day trial, a weekly $7.49 payment auto-processes after that unless users delete their accounts. The app matches users with strangers worldwide for live text or video chat and allows users to send attachments: Image attachments are blurred until the recipient accepts them. Terms of use state users will be banned for suggestive or harassing content, but live chat makes it impossible to prevent such behavior. Aside from Report User and a semi-functional Blocking mechanism (users report still being matched with Blocked users), the app contains no security controls and no age verification. The app's store text claims “All personal information is securely stored and not sold nor shared to third parties,” but the app's privacy pPolicy contradicts this, saying: "Omega Media Corporation makes no claim that your account data is stored securely, and should data or personal information be leaked either through a user problems or server problems Omega Media Corporation cannot be held responsible.” Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

User Reviews

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What's it about?

CHATLIVE, RANDOM VIDEO CHAT is a subscription-based social text and video chat app intended for users 18 and older. Users create a limited profile indicating gender and email (no age, location, or other personal info) and choose a simple cartoon avatar to represent them online. Users can choose between text or video chat and can send video, image, or text attachments. A simple filter lets users match with men, women, or both; matches have to be approved by both users, and both users can end chat at any time. Users can report inappropriate behavior, content, or language and block other users.

Is it any good?

This is yet another hook-up app masquerading as a way to “make new friends,” and its tagline isn't its the only way it's disingenuous. From a search function with an obvious male bias to an app store description that inaccurately represents user security, this is one social networking app you can't take at face value. 

The app's search function is its first problem; regardless of which gender you choose, you're matched with men eight times out of ten. Worse, a good chunk of those men opt for inappropriate usernames (Ex: “18andHard” or an eggplant emoji next to a spurt emoji and a pair of eyes) and are prone to steer the conversation toward sex. Within this context, the possibility of receiving suggestive photos is high, though the app does blur them out until you tap to accept them. And though developer Omega Media Corporation claims to ban users for making suggestive posts, the nature of live chat prevents them from doing that effectively. 

This is enough of a security problem on its own, especially when it comes to your kids, but with the terms of use and privacy policy repeatedly absolving Omega Media of securely storing your personal info, you have a big red flag warning you to stay away. And even without these problems, it's unclear what you're paying for here since the app doesn't offer anything more or better than other free chat apps. All told, ChatLive, Random Live Chat is a greedy, mediocre app with poor matchmaking that's not worth the cash or the risk to kids or adults.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the risks of random video chat with apps like Chat Live, Random Video Chat. Why do people use this type of app? What are the potential downsides?

  • Think about the motives of some video chat users. When someone is on the other side of a screen, can you trust them? Why is it important not to share personal information?

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
  • Price: Free to try
  • Pricing structure: Free to try (three-day trial then subscription $7.49/week)
  • Release date: November 23, 2018
  • Category: Social Networking
  • Size: 47.10 MB
  • Publisher: Omega Media Corporation Limited
  • Version: 1.9
  • Minimum software requirements: Requires iOS 9.0 or later.
  • Last updated: August 29, 2019

For kids who love social networking

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