A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
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What's it about?
WECHAT is a social-networking tool that lets users communicate and share media. It's an all-in-one experience for keeping in touch with people you know: You can use it to place voice calls, send text messages, share stickers, play games, and more. The further you dive into the app, the more features you'll find, from in-app games to super-detailed how-to information that shows up helpfully, such as a series of text messages. Users can also create photo-collage "moments" that you can share: If you turn on location services on your device, people using the app nearby can automatically find, view, and browse your moments. Meanwhile, with location services turned on, you can use the Friend Radar feature to shake your phone to instantly find the profiles of random users, and there's an option to instantly connect via image or text. Because it's used widely around the world, you can translate messages into many languages.
Is it any good?
The best thing about this social network is that it's a super-simple way to connect with your friends -- but that connectivity can come at the cost of privacy and online safety. Overall, this app tries to be everything to everyone: It's a little like Skype or an instant-messaging app, but it also has a suite of built-in games, custom emojis, and the Friend Radar feature, which lets you connect with random users nearby or far away, similar to the myriad options within Kik Messenger. Some users online have reported stumbling upon some pretty gross interactions through the Friend Radar; however, to the developer's credit, there are lots of opportunities within the app to report abuse or inappropriate content. It's also pretty easy to turn off the location services on your device for this app, but if you don't turn off those sharing settings, people anywhere can instantly access any information -- such as your contacts and your photos -- that you've chosen to share. If a teen is using WeChat, parents will want to check the settings and have a conversation about online privacy and safety.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about your rules for messaging and social networking. How old do your kids have to be to use social networks? What are your family's rules about devices and when they're appropriate to use?
Talk about online safety. What's OK to share on social media, and what's off-limits? Check out our parent guide for privacy and Internet safety here to get advice and good conversation starters with your kids.
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Mac, Android, Apps for Windows, Windows Phone
- Price: Free (with optional in-app purchases)
- Pricing structure: Free (The app's free to download, but extra games and stickers are available for in-app purchase.)
- Release date: December 29, 2015
- Category: Social Networking
- Size: 102.00 MB
- Publisher: Tencent
- Version: 6.3.9
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 7.0 or later; Android varies with device
For kids who love safe chatting and social networking
Our editors recommend
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.