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Reach - Internet Best Friends

App review by
Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Media
Reach - Internet Best Friends App Poster Image
Matchmaking meets social media, for older teens and adults.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Created for entertainment and not intended for learning.

Ease of Play

Interface is easy to navigate, and website is super helpful.

Violence

Potential for violent images, content, and discussion

Sex

Potential for sexual images, content, and discussion

Language

Potential for profane, racist, and sexist language

Consumerism

No business or brand promotion at time of review, but that is a possibility as the app takes off.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Potential for discussion of drinking, drugs, and smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Reach - Internet Best Friends is a social media app designed to connect strangers who share common interests so they can become internet best friends. When setting up their account, teens choose topics of interest (music, sports, technology, fashion, etc) and then join specific groups (for artists, programs, and such). They then specify their age group (13-17 is the youngest, with groups up to 55+) and gender. They also share their hometown and where they currently live and create an account by connecting to Facebook or sharing their email address. They can share their photo, bio, and favorite emojis. That information, along with location and groups joined, matches them with potential internet best friends (IBFs). 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 polices frequently change.  

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What's it about?

REACH - INTERNET BEST FRIENDS wants to connect people virtually with new friends. Think of it as a combination dating app and special interest discussion board. Users choose topics of interest and then drill down to specific groups (An interest in movies/TV with a group for fans of Riverdale, for example). They can then join these groups and share memes, thoughts, and images in a feed with comments. These joined groups are also used to match users with others with similar interests, and users are encouraged to connect with these potential "IBFs," or internet best friends. Matches are made based on age, location, interests, and other info entered in the bio.

Is it any good?

A matchmaking tool for finding a best friend online could be the world's greatest gift for introverts or a potentially dangerous situation, so teens and parents should proceed with caution. There are two parts to the app: The interest-focused feeds where teens can connect with others who share that interest are a great place for a meeting of the minds. The focus of Reach - Internet Best Friends, though, is pushing relationships, and that's where most of the comments on the interest pages go. Teens are exchanging Snapchat names, Instagram handles, and even phone numbers. The percentages matching users to potential best friends comes across as forced, since some matches are suggested just because both users picked the same emoji to represent their mood. While Reach - Internet Best Friends might be a fun place to chat, it's unlikely to develop any relationships to best friend status, and its risks outweigh the benefits for most younger teens.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how teens could safely use Reach - Internet Best Friends for online relationships. Discuss your family's expectations about meeting online friends face-to-face for the first time. Is it allowed at all? Must they meet with a group or an adult present? Should they meet in a public place?

  • Understand and respect that teens want privacy -- which may include the opportunity to talk to someone they don't know well about their interests -- while making sure your teen know you are available to talk and that they are connected to support resources they may need.

App details

For kids who love social networking

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Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

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