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live.ly - live video streaming
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
Is it any good?
As with all live-streaming services, this one carries all the risks of broadcasting and viewing iffy content, and its one nod to safety is to warn its users not to give out personal information as each stream opens. It's an app entering a crowded market, but it seems to have legs because of its affiliation with musical.ly. As with all the others, kids much younger than 13 broadcast regularly, and most streams feature bored kids in their homes either on their phones, eating, goofing around with friends, or just responding to comments. During the time of review, no one was showcasing a talent or doing more than minimally interacting with viewers, though one had kids responding to dares posed by commenters. Yet, each stream seemed to have a substantial audience from 60 to 300 people. The main draw seems to be the immediate connection, real-time feedback, and followers/likes. Kids also give out their Snapchat handles and phone numbers to viewers, so strangers often get another means to connect with the broadcaster. Though the streams themselves seem mostly innocuous, live streaming poses real risks for kids in terms of privacy and safety, and it's also a way to connect with people whom some families might not want connecting with their kids.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about privacy and the risks of broadcasting yourself to the world. What's fun about streaming video and getting live comments? What are the drawbacks? What would draw you to watching someone else's stream?
Discuss what's appropriate to share and what isn't. Remind kids that "friends" and "followers" on social media are often still strangers.
If you decide it's OK for your teen to broadcast, talk about what to do about inappropriate comments and mean behavior. Teens should know how to block others and report streams, though there's no guarantee that anything will happen as a result.
For kids who love social-networking and teen apps
Our editors recommend
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.