ooVoo Video Call, Text and Voice

Common Sense Media says

Powerhouse app with group video, text, calls; watch privacy.

Age(i)

2
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5
6
7
8
9
10
11
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Ease of play

Mostly easy to use, with clear feature icons at the bottom of the screen and the ability to access it via Facebook. There's a very helpful FAQ page on the ooVoo website for people new to video chat or who are having trouble connecting with others across platforms. The app will instantly link users with contacts in a user's phone and in Gmail, Facebook, and Twitter accounts using ooVoo, if permission is granted. On the downside, users must seek out and change settings to establish privacy on ooVoo​, and the default mode is public.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

Ads appear unless users purchase ooVoo Premium for $29.99/year or $2.99/month. Other in-app purchases vary as far as calling minutes to cell phones and land lines worldwide. Ads may be intended for an adult audience ("Are you interested in men, women, or both?" asks one).

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

ooVoo suggests that teens use the app's privacy settings to restrict who can contact them. If they do not use the restrictions, anyone using this app can publicly view their profiles and contact them anytime they're logged into the app. The app will instantly link users with contacts from a user's phone as well as Gmail, Facebook, and Twitter accounts, if permission is granted. ​ooVoo saves users' call and text histories (unless the user deletes them), and the app suggests that parents know their teens' passwords and review their histories periodically. Teens can block or report any other user.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that ooVoo Video Call, Text and Voice is a free app that teens can use to group video chat with up to 12 people, even if they're using different platforms (iPhone, Android, desktop computers, and more). ooVoo users also can send texts and make regular phone calls, including to international numbers (in-app purchase is required). Ads on the free version can be removed by purchasing ooVoo's premium service. ​The developer's terms indicate people must be 13 or older to use the app. An important privacy and safety note: Unless teens change their account settings to limit or restrict public access, anyone can search for, see, and contact them.

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

First, create an OOVOO account, using an email address or a Facebook account. The app will ask for access to your contacts; either approve or deny. Your contacts (and ads) will pop up on the main "Friends" screen. Any friend requests also will appear. Tap "Dial a Friend" to make a phone call using a phone number, or tap a friend's name to text, video chat, or call them. When video calling, you can minimize or maximize yourself or other callers. ooVoo is a powerful app that gives teens multiple ways to communicate with peers and adults.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Using different communication tools such as Facebook, FaceTime, and Skype comes more naturally to most teens than talking into a telephone, so they'll love that ooVoo offers group chat across multiple device platforms, as well as the abilities to text and call individual friends. For people seeking to call internationally, ooVoo offers call minutes as in-app purchases to more than 70 countries. Users can video chat with friends who don't have ooVoo, but the process is much more complicated. The desktop and premium versions include even more features (such as video messaging and file sharing) and no ads. Video and sound quality are generally good, although that can reportedly vary with device and network quality.

For teen's safety, it would be nice to see the restricted profile access as the default setting, but parents and teens can easily change that setting for improved privacy and safety. Users can block people they don't want contacting them via ooVoo, and they can report any other user for harassing behavior. Used wisely, ooVoo can be a fantastic communication tool for teens and adults.

Families can talk about...

  • Encourage (or require) your teen to use the app's privacy settings so only people they know can contact them via ooVoo, and remind them they can use the block and/or report features if someone contacts them in unwanted or harassing ways.

  • Since ooVoo includes group video chats, discuss respectful group communication and healthy group dynamics with your teen. Although they may know a lot more about video calling and online social networking than you do, some important lessons about ethical social behavior and being kind to individuals in groups remains the same across platforms, digital and otherwise.

  • Don't understand why your teen wants to use this and other social media nearly 24/7? Read Common Sense Media's report "Social Media, Social Life: How Teens View Their Digital Lives."

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Mac, Android, Apps for Windows, Windows Phone
Price:Free (with in-app purchases)
Pricing structure:Free
Release date:June 16, 2014
Category:Social Networking
Size:34.30 MB
Publisher:ooVoo
Version:2.1.2
Minimum software requirements:iOS 6.0 or later; Android 2.2 and up

This review of ooVoo Video Call, Text and Voice was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written byBethanyNicolee April 7, 2015
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

awful!

if I could give it 0 stars I would, "you can oovoo upto 12 people at one time" with my experiences this, 12 people would not be possible as calling 2 people doesn't work, I tried using this on both my ipod 5 and my laptop and didn't work on either of them. Oovoo isn't worth using as it does not work... furthermore, I have been using Skype to video call people and that works much better. I do not recommend this at all.
Kid, 12 years old March 20, 2015
AGE
11
QUALITY
 

You can't judge

CSM can't really judge social networking sites, and here is why: you never know what is about to happen.Sure, people could get into some iffy territory, but that is their decision. On oovoo, you can video chat,text,and voice call your friends. See, CSM can't judge that, because they can't tell what the person is going to do. Also, on oovoo, you have to accept someones request, so you can't just chat with random people. So, I have oovoo. I have not gotten into any iffy things yet. And if anyone does, it can be sorted out. Finally, how does this get iffy for 16 while Skype gets on for 10? They are the same thing.
What other families should know
Easy to play/use

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