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TTYL | Talk with Friends

App review by
Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Media
TTYL | Talk with Friends App Poster Image
Talk to whole squad, voice-only; beware of being always on.

Parents say

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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

Easy interface takes only a few taps to connect with friends regardless of device platform.

Violence
Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that TTYL | Talk with Friends is an audio social network that notifies connections whenever their friends are online and lets teens chat with up to seven friends at a time. The terms of service specify it is for users 18 and older, but there's really no intentional way to connect with strangers. Teens can add friends from their contacts by phone number, by name, or by sharing a QR code or invite code. TTYL can connect with Snapchat, too, allowing access to a Bitmoji and the ability to post that you're on TTYL to your Snapchat contacts or story. 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.

User Reviews

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What's it about?

Signing up for TTYL | TALK WITH FRIENDS requires a phone number -- and headphones -- and requests permission for notifications, microphone, and contacts (but those can be skipped). Users can then find friends using Snapchat or phone contacts, searching by name or phone number, or inviting friends using a code. Friends can see who's logged on and get a greeting notification in their friend's voice (recorded when setting up the account) when they come online. When friends aren't online, they can't be called or messaged, but they can be "poked." Once friends are online, you can invite one or more to a chat. Users can also share the music they're currently listening to while the app is open. 

Is it any good?

Talk to friends using this handy app, but control notifications to avoid too much contact. The interface is simple yet colorful and easy to navigate. The option to share the music you're listening to while you are logged in makes it seem like a fun hangout spot, and the greeting announcement when friends log on gives it a modern-day chat room kind of feel. Kids can't call friends who aren't online, making it easy to unplug and not be disturbed. That said, the "poke" feature and greeting notifications might make kids feel like they should always be available, so some teens might need some help in setting boundaries. Kids will need a phone number to create an account, but it doesn't ask for a birth date or other personal information. All in all, 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about setting boundaries on phone time and availability using apps like TTYL | Talk with Friends. Remind kids that it's OK not to take a call when they are face-to-face with friends or family or working on something (or sleeping!).

  • Discuss with kids that even though video chats are live and not recorded, what they share may not always be totally private.

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
  • Price: Free
  • Pricing structure: Free
  • Release date: September 26, 2019
  • Category: Social Networking
  • Size: 80.50 MB
  • Publisher: TTYL Inc.
  • Version: 1.0.8
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 11.0 or later
  • Last updated: October 07, 2019

For kids who love social networking

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