Parents' Guide to

Spot: Your Inner Circle

By Neilie Johnson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Appearance, appeal spot-on. Teens' best interest? Way off.

Spot: Your Inner Circle Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this app.

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Is It Any Good?

Our review:
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Kids say: Not yet rated

Though the functionality and appearance of this social media app is on-point, its features lend themselves to hurt feelings and dishonesty. Its presentation is colorful, attractive, whimsical—it even has an emoji-based mini-game. Still, parents concerned about kids' obsession with phones and friends aren't likely to enjoy its conspiratorial tone. It starts by encouraging kids to gossip by passing "secret notes": The app store calls it “gossip that self-destructs." These text messages auto-delete once the recipient has read them, and it's no stretch to imagine kids using this feature to bad mouth or exclude each other. Being able to talk about others anonymously only adds to this element. Also, Spot: Your Inner Circle introduces the “freeze” feature that lets you freeze your location “when you sneak out somewhere.” Though the stated intent is for kids to use when they want to "go off the grid," there are safety issues and implications of sneakiness that undermine any potential positives. In terms of the questionable features, though the developers say they want they app to be "warm and carefree," encouraging gossip and anonymous comments about others will likely foster just the opposite. Still, like so many products in the app store today, Spot: Your Inner Circle is like that bad kid your mother warned you about - it's cool enough to draw you in but treats your well-being like an afterthought.

App Details

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