Hype - Interactive Live Video

App review by
Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Media
Hype - Interactive Live Video App Poster Image
Options (and privacy issues) abound for broadcasts.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Created for entertainment and not intended for learning.

Ease of Play

Viewing, subscribing to, and broadcasting live video is pretty intuitive, as is commenting. More advanced videographers can create more sophisticated broadcasts.

Violence
Sex

Lewd acts and nudity are forbidden in the terms of service, and users can report objectionable broadcasts in-app, but it's possible iffy content will get through.

Language

Plenty of offensive language in many broadcasts and in usernames.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Broadcasts may discuss drinking and drug use, but illegal activity is not allowed and users can report it.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Hype - Interactive Live Video requires users to create an account using their Twitter or Facebook accounts or by signing up with email. The terms of service specify that users be at least 13 years old and have parental permission if they are between 13 and 18 years old. If users sign up using Facebook, their full name, as it is on their Facebook account, appears, and there's no way to change it. Usernames of viewers are visible to the broadcasters. Users can report broadcasters from within the app, but they can't specify why they're reporting them. Though broadcasts are automatically saved and displayed on user profiles, they can be deleted. However, it's not clear how to delete an account. Read the app's privacy policy to find out about the types of information collected and shared.

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What's it about?

Created by the founders of the now-pruned Vine, HYPE - INTERACTIVE LIVE VIDEO gives anyone a platform to broadcast to the world without time limits. Viewers can subscribe to feeds, watch recorded broadcasts, and see when broadcasters are live, as well as leave comments and stars (similar to likes) for broadcasters. Broadcasters can view comments and interact with viewers live and add music, images, or video to broadcasts. Though broadcasts are automatically saved, users can delete them. Viewers can also browse their subscriptions, see who's currently live, and browse recent broadcasters.

Is it any good?

The definition of hype is "to promote or publicize dramatically," and that's just what this live video broadcaster does, but despite its numerous features, it's still a tricky choice for teens. From musically enhanced introductions to recorded broadcasts to added images and text, the production on Hype - Interactive Live Video often has more value than the content. Some former Vine broadcasters have moved over and brought followers, but there's no way to categorize broadcasts or browse or search by category, which could add some substance to the content. Both broadcasting and viewing broadcasts, either live or recorded, are pretty intuitive. As the user base grows, this could become a tool for creative people to share their talents and ideas. Like all live-streaming apps, however, where, what, when, and how teens share with anonymous viewers creates concerns. It's all too easy for someone to share personal information, share or do more than intended based on viewer prompting, and broadcast from private spaces, such as bedrooms. If parents allow their teens to use a live-streaming app, they might want to set rules around the logistics and tune in themselves.

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App details

For kids who love social networking and digital presentation

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