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Funimate - Be Music Video Star

App review by
Neilie Johnson, Common Sense Media
Funimate - Be Music Video Star App Poster Image
Smart video editor makes creativity fun and easy, has risks.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Created for entertainment purposes only. Not intended for educational use. 

Ease of Play

Good controls make basic editing simple to grasp; tutorials help users learn advanced techniques.

Violence

No violence in the app itself, however user-created content could contain images of or references to violence. 

Sex

No sex in the app itself, however many songs contain sexual references, and users sometimes dance provactively and in skimpy clothing. 

Language

No profanity in the app itself, but many songs contain profanity like "p---y" and "f--k."

Consumerism

Requires a monthly fee that renews automatically.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

No alcohol, drugs, or smoking in the app itself, however music contains references to drinking and drugs.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Funimate: Be Music Video Star is a video editing and livestreaming app very similar to TikTok. Users register with email, Facebook, or Twitter, and need to have a Google Play or iTunes account. To access the free trial users have to hit “Subscribe,” and immediately after are notified a payment has been made. While the terms of service state that users must be 13 to register for an account, there's no age verification to use the app. Since the developer doesn't screen user-generated videos or take responsibility for their content, users could be exposed to nudity or suggestive content, bad language, and references to violence, alcohol, and drugs. During the time of review there were videos made by kids who appeared to be under 13, and some were lip synching and dancing provacatively to songs containing the words "p---y" and "f--k." The app starts user accounts with followers that have to be manually unfollowed but offers users various privacy options including the ability to make their accounts private, limit comments and collaborations, and prevent other users from sharing their videos. 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. 

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What's it about?

FUNIMATE: BE MUSIC VIDEO STAR is a video editing and livestreaming app favored by TikTok users. After a free seven-day trial, the app charges $6.99/month for a suite of video and audio tools that let users create short videos and embellish them with music, text, effects, filters, and shapes. A library of tutorials gets users up and running, and the developer holds themed contests where users can submit videos to win prizes like cameras and lights. Users can like and comment on each other's videos and can follow one another. In addition to posting and sharing videos, users can use the app to livestream and can play simple mini-games with their viewers. 

Is it any good?

This video editor has lots of features and some privacy options, but there's still plenty of mature content and risks for younger teens. In terms of its quality as a video editor, Funimate: Be Music Video Star offers a wide range of color filters, text, shapes, and particle effects and even lets you create and animate your own stickers from any picture you take. Even better, the app's press-and-hold controls are simple and intuitive. Granted, its audio library is limited to songs by indie artists and complete unknowns, but you can use any audio file stored on your phone. If you're feeling uninspired, themed contests offer creative ideas, and if you're feeling shy or disinclined to share your creations with the larger public, you can save them to your phone or use the privacy settings so only your closest friends have access to them. All that said, there's still plenty to worry about when it comes to your kids interacting with strangers, enduring bad online behavior, and viewing or participating in iffy content. Like other performance-based apps, it's a mixed bag: It allows kids to be creative and have fun, but there's definitely a dark side as well. Still, most videos made with Funimate: Be Music Video Star seem focused on helping users share their talents with the world -- but use with caution.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about online criticism in Funimate - Be Music Video Star and other apps. What can you do about negative comments? How should you respond, if at all?

  • Discuss performing online. What are the pros and cons? Are there any risks? How can you do it safely?

  • Think social media and self esteem. Are "likes" important? How do you measure the worth of something or someone outside of social media? 

  • Talk about mature content. What music is it okay to use for performing? What are the risks to trying to appear or act older than you are?

App details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love making and editing videos

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