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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?
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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.