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MeWe Network

App review by
Neilie Johnson, Common Sense Media
MeWe Network App Poster Image
Ad-free, interest-based networking with cool features.

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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

Straightforward interface makes app easy to navigate. 

Violence

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

Sex

No sex in the app itself, however user-generated content could contain nudity, suggestive references, and/or images. 

Language

No profanity in the app itself, however user-generated content could contain bad language.

Consumerism

Contains optional paid upgrades for Secret Chat and unlimited Voice and Video Calling. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

No substance use in the app itself, however user-generated content could contain references to and images of alcohol, drug use, and smoking. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that MeWe Network is a free social networking app in direct competition with Facebook. Unlike Facebook, it contains no spyware or ads and offers Secret Chat (end-to-end encryption) for $.99/month or $5.99/year. The app requires registration with email or phone number and contains optional in-app purchases including a new dark theme, emoji packs, and unlimited voice and video chat. Users can share their locations within the app and can use privacy settings to limit contact and chat requests, opt out of MeWe Search, and decide whether to let contacts share their posts and/or download posted photos. Groups and Communities within the app could contain suggestive or sexual imagery, profanity, violence, and images of or references to drugs and alcohol. 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?

MEWE NETWORK is a freemium alternative to Facebook that offers adult users an ad-free social networking experience and more secure chat. Users register with email or phone number, create a profile, and choose if they want to connect the app to their phone contact list. Upon registering, a tutorial bot shows users how to access built-in tools to add text, filters, and emojis to photos, and how to create GIFs from them. Users can browse Featured Pages dedicated to news, media, and various celebrities, or browse Groups by categories like Art, Fitness, and Travel. Users can join or create their own Groups which they can make public or private. Users can message each other directly via text or voice chat and can pay for end-to-end encryption (for more secure chat) by the month or the year. 

Is it any good?

This ad-free networking and chat app has all of the features and fewer of the downsides of some other popular platforms. With Facebook becoming a veritable torrent of sponsored posts, adult users will find MeWe to be a breath of fresh air. Not only is it one hundred percent ad-free, its developers have said outright it doesn't secretly gather your personal info. Still, users are asked to check a box that they're over 16 which won't stop younger users but indicates the intended audience. 

The app's interface is wonderfully clutter-free, consisting only of what's needed to post and browse. User-created groups take the place of corporate-sponsored infomercials and a list of Featured Pages lets you access your favorite media sites and celebrities -- if you want to. Your feed consists only of what you and your friends put there, so there's no confusing sponsored posts with real posts, and you get to skip that creepy, spied-on feeling that comes when you say something about say, hula hoops, and minutes later there's an ad for them on your feed. 

Beyond this, the app's built in photo filters and instant GIF and meme tools make posting a lot of fun, and it's nice to know you can prevent people from sharing your posts and downloading your photos (though theoretically they could still take screenshots) All this is great, but MeWe is clearly isn't meant for kids. Things adults use for convenience—24 hour disappearing posts, creating and tracking events, friending via QR code, Secret Chat, easily sharing your physical location—aren't the safest features for younger teens. On top of that, groups may contain imagery and/or discussions that include violent or sexual/suggestive content or references to substance abuse and self harm. There are also open groups dedicated to conspiracy theories and viewpoints that could negatively influence kids. Ultimately, MeWe Network is just what it says it is: a next-gen social network designed for adults.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what makes an app like MeWe best for older teens and adults. What content is too mature for kids? What should we do if we stumble on upsetting or confusing content? 

  • Think about how ads pervade our lives. How do you tell the difference between ads and other kinds of media? Where do you see the most ads?

  • Discuss the variety of viewpoints and theories you see online. How can you separate fact from fiction? How do you decide what you believe and not believe? Why can some theories not based in fact seem pretty convincing when presented online?

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
  • Price: Free
  • Pricing structure: Free (optional in-app purchases for more features)
  • Release date: October 12, 2014
  • Category: Social Networking
  • Size: 160.80 MB
  • Publisher: Sgrouples Inc.
  • Version: 2.16.3
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 10.0 or later; Android 5.0 and up

For kids who love social networking

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