A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
What's it about?
With MONKEY -- HAVE FUN CHATS teens connect their Snapchat accounts and can "meet" random people via video chat. To sign up, they have to share their phone number and Snapchat username and password as well as invite friends by messaging them. Friends will get a message that says, "Yo (name) someone was talking about you..." Once they're registered, opening the app starts a connection with another user. Teens will see the age, gender, and location of the connection and can accept it or skip it. If accepted, the video chat opens for 10 seconds, with the option to extend the time if both parties agree or add the connection on Snapchat.
Is it any good?
Because 10 seconds probably isn't long enough for teens to get to know someone well enough to invite them into a social network, this interesting video-chat tool is best for older teens only. The technology to connect with people around the world is amazing -- and fun. But teens have to be cautious of the information they share and realize that the person on the other end of the video is a stranger. The sound and video quality are decent, and connecting is super simple. Since the app is connected to Snapchat, there never seems to be a shortage of teens eager to chat. As with so many social-networking tools, a teen's experience will depend a lot on other users' behavior. It's important to note that some users report abuse and requests for baring body parts, so it could be easy for some teens to get into trouble. There's also a mix of older and younger teens, which can be a risky recipe. In general, it works as advertised and could be a cool experience for a responsible user with thick skin, but it's no place for kids.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how teens can be safer when they're interacting with strangers using apps such as Monkey -- have fun chats. Remind them not to give out personal information such as their full name, school, or address and to be careful that information isn't available in other public profiles.
Talk to kids about apps' privacy policies and terms of service to help them understand how their personal information can be used.
For kids who love social networking
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