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WhatsApp Messenger

App review by
Dana Anderson, Common Sense Media
WhatsApp Messenger App Poster Image
Text, call, and chat with individuals and groups data-free.
Popular with kids

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 12 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 12 reviews

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

WhatsApp works on most smartphones, but users must have the app installed to send or receive messages. Colored check marks indicate messages have been sent and viewed. Push notifications indicate new messages.

Violence

No violent content in the app itself, but teens can send and receive unmonitored texts, photos, voice messages, and videos.

Sex

No sexual content in the app itself, but teens can send and receive unmonitored texts, photos, voice messages, and videos.

Language

No iffy language in the app itself, but teens can send and receive unmonitored texts, photos, voice messages, and videos.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

No content related to drinking, drugs, or smoking in the app itself, but teens can send and receive unmonitored texts, photos, voice messages, and videos.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that WhatsApp Messenger lets users start video calls and send text messages, videos, photos, and audio messages to one or many people with no message limits or fees. Messages can only be sent to other smartphone users who also have WhatsApp, which is available on different devices. The app checks your phone's address book for WhatsApp users and connects you automatically. It also encourages you to urge friends not using the app to sign up. Privacy and security can be customized in settings, including a two-step verification feature uses a PIN for added account security and the ability to turn off location sharing. Users also have the ability to send disappearing photos, videos, and GIFs through the Status feature, which is similar to features on Instagram and Snapchat. 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.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byDJ Octavio January 3, 2020

Chainmail

You get chainmail that tries to scam you and other horrible things e.g send this to 5 people or u will die.
Adult Written byTV-007 May 24, 2019

Good Message App

Good Application, similar to Viber and Telegram
Teen, 14 years old Written byLaa_Girl July 18, 2015

Not safe!!

Whats App:
This app is really dangerous and not safe this app can cause you lots of problems and you can even get bullied its really really really dangerous app... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old April 26, 2017

Very bad.

It is a horrible app. One that can send a child crying. i have been upset by this app by being in a group chat and my friends text each other and me in horribl... Continue reading

What's it about?

WHATSAPP MESSENGER uses push notifications to allow users to send each other unlimited text messages without data limits or international charges. As with most messaging apps, teens can send text, videos, documents, and GIFs to individuals or groups, make calls, and use filters. Within a chat, teens can use Live Location to share where they are and stop sharing whenever they choose. The status feature allows users to share updates with all of their contacts at once, or they can also use the broadcast feature to send out messages to selected contacts.

Is it any good?

Families with some members living or traveling internationally will find this tool valuable.The voice-messaging feature's impressively clear audio is a plus, as are group texting and check marks that confirm messages have been sent and read. As the app adds fun and cosmetic features, it stays competitive with some of the other top apps for teens, and its no-fee system makes it appealing, especially for those with family and friends in other countries. It presents the same hazards as other social media apps but is messege-focused and has more family-friendly reputation. The biggest pitfalls are probably huge group messages and disappearing messages, so parents should talk to teens about the potential hazards -- and their limits around -- these features.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about limits with WhatsApp Messenger and other apps: During what hours are kids allowed to text? How much screen use are they allowed?

  • Talk about the types of information that are best shared in text messages and the types best discussed in person. Let kids know that tone isn't always clear, and emojis can't fill in every blank.

  • Discuss location sharing and the risks it has. When might it be useful to share your location, and with whom? When is it a bad idea?

App details

Themes & Topics

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