A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
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, it's a new take on an old way to communicate, and may offer more connection than texting.
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.
Our editors recommend
For kids who love social networking
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.