MeWe Network

App review by
Neilie Johnson, Common Sense Media
MeWe Network App Poster Image
Ad-free, interest-based groups offer control, mature stuff.

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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. Users can access tutorials and frequently asked questions through the Help Center.

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 premium features, unlimited voice and video calling, secret chat, journals, dark theme, stickers, emojis, and Cloud Storage. 

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. Features such as full ownership of content and data, interest-based groups, private group settings, public group settings, and dedicated feeds for close friends give members greater control over the experience. Unlike Facebook, it contains no spyware or ads and offers Secret Chat (end-to-end encryption) for $0.99/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, hate speech, conspiracy theories, 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 offers adult users an ad-free social networking experience and more secure chat. Users register with email or phone number, create a profile, and are asked to confirm that they're sixteen years or older. They'll have the option to sync contacts from their device to MeWe in order to find friends. Upon registering, users can learn how to use the app's custom camera, create GIFs, add stories, learn about disappearing content, use the built-in tools to add text, filters, and emojis to photos, and more through the MeWe Chat Tutorial or by accessing the Help Center.

Users can browse featured pages dedicated to news, media, and various celebrities, or browse groups by categories like Music, Foodies, Health and Fitness, and Travel. Groups have a dedicated feed, photos and albums, and a linked group chat. Some of these interest groups are public, allowing members to participate simply by tapping the join button. Other groups are private and members have to apply to join. Private groups often ask members to answer a few specific questions as part of the application. When creating groups, users also have the option of making them public or private. Content from connected groups appears in the main feed, and users have the option to like, comment, and share content. For greater customization, feed content can be filtered by contacts, groups, or pages. 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. Not only is it 100% ad-free, but 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. Filters give users full control over the content that appears on their feed. 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. Private group settings also gives users greater control over their network.  

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 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. Some groups are in foreign languages without a simple way to translate content. On top of that, groups may contain imagery and/or discussions that include violent or sexual/suggestive content, hate speech, or references to substance abuse and self-harm. There are also open groups dedicated to conspiracy theories, witchcraft, bong thoughts, and viewpoints that could negatively influence kids. Users have the option to directly report posts or groups for violating the terms of service, which aim to create a safe space, free of harmful, obscene, violent, or lewd content. 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 appear in 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 ranging from $0.99 - $5.99.)
  • Release date: January 16, 2021
  • Category: Social Networking
  • Size: 112.70 MB
  • Publisher: Sgrouples Inc.
  • Version: 2.18.20
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 12.0 or later; Android 6.0 and up
  • Last updated: January 25, 2021

Our editors recommend

For kids who love social networking

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