Marco Polo Video Walkie Talkie

App review by
Chris Morris, Common Sense Media
Marco Polo Video Walkie Talkie App Poster Image
Video messaging more personal than text; some glitches.

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 20 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

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

Ease of Play

Thorough tutorial, and very easy to use. Easy to accidentally engage one of the filters, which could cause some mild confusion for a while. 

Violence
Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Marco Polo Video Walkie Talkie is a social media app that allows users to communicate via video messages either in real time or with a delay between messages. It's best described as an instant messenger but done with videos, and many compare it to Snapchat's video function. The app doesn't generate any objectionable content, but depending on your contacts, there's always that risk. Parents will want to note that the app asks for access to your contacts and will send invites to all of them if you're not careful. At the time of this review, there was no public feed and no ability to connect with strangers, so all video connections happen with people you know who are also using the app. So, while there are no obvious safety concerns, parents should note two things: The privacy policy states that users' videos are collected and stored but doesn't indicate for how long, and it's a good opportunity for parents to talk about digital citizenship and limits around screen use. Also, the terms of service indicate that users need to be at least 13, though kids could certainly use the app with loved ones with parental supervision.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byRich Allcorn September 21, 2016

No provision to correct setup errors

My wife set hers up and for some reason entered my telephone number to add me as a contact. The system was asking for "her" cellphone number, but tha... Continue reading
Adult Written byDave P. October 23, 2016

HORRIBLE APP - SPAMS YOUR CONTACTS MULTIPLE TIMES!

BEWARE! App will spam all of your contacts!
Teen, 15 years old Written byAngelic678 November 9, 2016

Don't bother

It spams your contacts and you can get hijacked on this. Do not even bother getting this app!

What's it about?

Users of MARCO POLO VIDEO WALKIE TALKIE can stay in touch with friends (and anyone else on their contact lists), exchanging video messages in real time or when it's convenient. For example, one user can send a video message, and the recipient can respond when it works for them, continuing the conversation. In contrast to FaceTime or Skype, where users have to be present at the same time, this app lets users have a video conversation on a delay. To spice things up, you can add filters to the videos and add text messages and doodle on-screen.

Is it any good?

There's nothing truly original here, but responding to video messages when it's convenient might seem liberating; on the other hand, conversations may seem stilted and the glitches too numerous. Those who prefer video chats in real time will find that any of the video functions can be done more smoothly with FaceTime. And the filters, doodles, and texts, while they add some variety, aren't likely to make the conversation any more or less pleasant. Some users complain of high data usage and battery drainage, and it's worth noting that items of personal information -- including the videos you send -- are collected and stored, though it's unclear for how long or to what end. Also be aware that if you allow access to your contact list, you can select friends to add or invite one-by-one, but some users have accidentally invited their entire contact list.

The notable advantage is the ability to watch videos from your contacts at your leisure. And the conversation is archived, so you can go back and rewatch it whenever you'd like. Parents will want to ensure they know everyone in their child's contact list and talk about limits around how many messages are OK to send and when to send them.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what's appropriate to share using Marco Polo Video Walkie Talkie -- even with friends. What's fun and interesting to send?

  • Talk about the advantages of in-person communication versus text and video clips. Though the app allows people to see body language and hear tone of voice, how is sharing through video different from a real-life conversation?

  • Discuss using this type of app in balance with other forms of communication and other activities. What are your family's limits on device use?

App details

For kids who love social networking and safe chatting

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