A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
What's it about?
IMO FREE VIDEO CALLS AND CHAT is a video calling app that lets users live stream, as well as conduct single and group chat sessions and video conferences. Users must verify their phone numbers and give the app access to their phone contact lists upon registration. Premium subscriptions go for $.99 per month, and in-app currency (to purchase virtual gifts) is available for $.99 to $199.99. Live streaming is done with the touch of a button, and users can browse streamers, join any ongoing stream, and chat with everyone viewing. They can also follow any streamers and send emojis and virtual gifts to them. In addition to livestreaming functionality, the app lets users send texts and initiate video/voice calls with existing contacts.
Is it any good?
For reliable chat and video calling, this app is a solid choice. Registration and adding contacts is quick, the interface is simple and clean, and video calls both sound and look pretty good. You can go back and forth between a video call and chat (though you can't open your camera in chat when a call is in progress) and track your chat history. It also functions a bit like Facebook or Instagram in that you can create albums and “Stories” made up of text and imagery and share them with friends. Still, as good as this is for adults and older teens, it's not so good for younger kids.
Though the terms of service say the app's meant for users thirteen and over, browsing the livestream feed proves kids younger than that are there. That's not good, since the livestream's onscreen prohibition of pornography seems to have done nothing to prevent suggestive and sexual content, not mention adult-themed conversations not meant for young ears. Even more problematic, when kids livestream, adult users can interact with them in real time--a perfect setup for online predators. Real-time chat can be turned off, but since imo free video calls and chat contains no parental locks to speak of, and its privacy protections are rudimentary, that's just not enough to ensure your kids are safe. Like so much that's made within the social media arena, this app is yet another product offering ease and convenience with a hefty dose of risk. Concerned parents are better off keeping this one for older teens and steering younger kids away from it.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the risks and benefits of social media, including apps like imo video calls and chat. What are your family's rules around social media? How do you use it safely?
Think about creating and consuming meaningful online content. What kinds of content create the digital footprint you wnat to create?
Discuss sharing personal info online. What personal info shouldn't you share online? Why?
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
- Price: Free
- Pricing structure: Free (with optional in-app purchases $.99-$199.99 for in-app currency or $.99/mo.)
- Release date: September 26, 2016
- Category: Social Networking
- Size: 38.00 MB
- Publisher: imo.im
- Version: 7.1.60
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 7.0 or later; Android 4.0 and up
- Last updated: March 13, 2019
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.