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Wink - make new snap friends

App review by
Patricia Montic..., Common Sense Media
Wink - make new snap friends App Poster Image
Swipe right to find strangers on Snapchat; not for kids.

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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 recommended for learning.

Ease of Play

It's simple to set up a new account, though it can be surprisingly tricky to figure out how to add your first friend on Snapchat. 

Violence

The terms of service prohibit images of violence or bullying or images that promote violence, racism, discrimination, bigotry, hatred, or physical harm, but user-generated content could contain violence.

Sex

This app focuses exclusively on appearance, and many user profiles feature photos of teens and adults in revealing clothes and suggestive poses, even though pornography and nudity are explicitly forbidden in the terms of service. 

Language

The terms of service prohibit vulgar, obscene, or offensive language, but some user-generated content contains all of the above.

Consumerism

Users earn in-app currency (gems) by sharing their friends' contact information or posting about the app on their own social media accounts.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

User-generated content may include images of people drinking, smoking, and using drugs. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Wink - make new snap friends is an app where users swipe left and right on images to find new friends on Snapchat. If you swipe right on a user's photo and they swipe right on yours, you can add each as friends. You get a limited number of swipes per day by spending "gems," which you can earn by checking in on the app daily, sharing your friends' contact information, and sharing about the app on social media. Users technically have to be 17 to use the service, but there's no age-verification process, and there's no verification process between Wink and Snapchat itself, so it's possible for a Wink profile to be misleading about who you're actually connecting with on Snapchat. Some user reviews have reported Wink profiles linked to so-called Premium Snapchat accounts that sell nude images and other pornography; while that’s not the app’s focus, misleading connections are definitely possible, making this app a poor choice for kids. 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

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What's it about?

WINK - MAKE NEW SNAP FRIENDS is a free social media app intended to help Snapchat users find new friends. Users create brief profiles that include a name, age, country, and gender, and they then choose who they’d like to meet based on the same criteria. Users under 17 aren't supposed to use the platform. However, if you chose an age between 13 and 17, your connections’ age range is limited to the same range. Users can swipe left to pass and right to “like” another user’s profile. If you and another user both swipe right on each other’s profiles, you have the option to add each other as friends on Snapchat. Users get a limited number of swipes each day based on their current stash of “gems, “ the app’s currency. You can earn gems by logging into the app daily, sharing about it on social media and sharing your friends’ contact information.

Is it any good?

While making new Snapchat friends sounds fairly innocent, there’s not much to recommend this approach which is appearance-focused and leads to contact with strangers. Connections are based solely on an adult dating app swiping system, and there’s no way to verify profile information: There’s no official connection to the Snapchat app, so becoming friends with someone on Wink - make new snap friends might lead to a very different Snapchat profile than you might expect.  People creating profiles aren’t required to share photos directly from their Snapchat account, so there’s no guarantee that you’re connecting with who you think you are. Users can misrepresent their age and location to give them access to more profiles. In fact, many accounts at the time of this review had captions stating that users were younger than they reported in their profile. Reporting or blocking a profile doesn’t seem to work consistently, since blocked and reported posts resurfaced in the queue of swipeable profiles. And there are tons of profiles featuring nudity and profanity despite the app’s community guidelines forbidding both. For seasoned Snapchat users and social media newcomers alike, Wink - make new snap friends doesn't lead to more connection, only complication -- and potentially creepy encounters.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about using apps like Wink - make new snap friends and the long-term effects of sharing what are assumed to be private moments through apps like Snapchat and Instagram. What are the risks?

  • Discuss how Wink's looks-only style can affect a person's self esteem. Read Common Sense's blog post "Is Social Media Giving Your Teen a Negative Body Image?

  • Talk about sharing things online. What's entertaining and funny to post, and what's not?

  • Families can talk about what it means to take photos and manipulate images. When is that fun, and when might it not be OK?

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
  • Price: Free
  • Pricing structure: Free
  • Release date: January 31, 2020
  • Category: Social Networking
  • Size: 27.50 MB
  • Publisher: 9 Count
  • Version: 1.0.12
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 9.0 or later. Android 4.4 and up.
  • Last updated: February 13, 2020

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