Yubo

App review by
Patricia Montic..., Common Sense Media
Yubo App Poster Image
Swipe right to find new Snapchat friends; not for kids.

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 17+
Based on 1 review

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

A basic tutorial walks users through how to swipe left and right, and it insists on making you follow the developers as an example.

Violence

The terms of service prohibit images of violence or images that might incite violence, but user-generated content could contain violence.

Sex

Despite terms of service that specify that photos cannot be sexual in nature, many photos are sexually explicit. Plus, Yellow is based on Tinder, which connects people based solely on location and whether people "like" each other's appearance. Tinder is reportedly known for being used as a hookup site for sex, and it's possible that Yellow users might use Yellow for the same purposes.

Language

Though most of the app's content is images, not text, some users' profiles include bad language, and other user-generated content could contain profanity.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Though the app itself doesn't contain substance references, user-generated content can and does show substance use.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Yubo (formerly Yellow - Make New Friends) is a social media app for iOS and Android devices that lets users create a profile, share their location, and flip through images of other users in their area. It's been called "Tinder for Snapchat": Users are invited to swipe right on profiles they like and swipe left on profiles they don’t, and you can endlessly browse the profiles of people in your area and automatically link to follow their profiles on Snapchat and Instagram. If you swipe right on a person who has swiped right on your profile, you can then chat and automatically follow one another on Snapchat. Technically, users must be over 13 to use the app, but there's no age verification; as long as a kid has a phone and puts in an age that indicated they're over 13, they can use the app. In late 2017, the app's developers responded to criticism by developing a teen-focused guide for staying safe on Yellow, but the guide is accessible only as a PDF on the developer's website, not within the app itself, and any kids who happen to read it will find a series of recommendations that mostly amount to asking users to report bad behavior. With limited features and problematic privacy issues, there's not much to recommend this app. Read the app's privacy policy, which is embedded within its terms of service, to find out more about the types of information collected and shared.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byco_mom July 14, 2018

Dangerous Site for Kids and Teens

We are usually pretty conscientious about what apps we allow my daughter to download to her phone (we use the parental approval controls through Apple) but this... Continue reading
Parent Written byMaple J. August 6, 2018

I’m in the Middle

Some people are on there to make friends while other people’s want relationships. Although it can be inappropriate for teens I trust my daughter to make good de... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written bysaskiaw._ April 1, 2018

Too mature and easily dangerous

As an informed child myself about how dangerous any “dating” app or social media in general can be I definitely think that this app is very dangerous, it is eas... Continue reading

What's it about?

In YUBO users create a profile with photos, videos, and links to their Snapchat and Instagram profiles. Users then can swipe left to pass or right to "love" other users' profiles. If two users swipe right on each other's profiles, they can unlock the ability to chat with each other and follow each other on Snapchat and Instagram. User profiles share a lot of personal information: To use the app effectively -- you'll be advised frequently while you use it -- you must enable location services so that the app can geotag your location. You can opt to hide your city and hide people's ability to find you, but you can't set your profile to be strictly private. You also have to share your name and your birth date, though there's no verification process involved. You don't have the option to make your profile private, and your profile can be viewed by anyone in a particular radius of your real-life location. The app has a built-in barrier to limit profile views by users' reported age: Users under 18 can only view profiles of users age 13 to 17, and users over 18 can only view profiles of users over 18 -- though again, there's no age verification.

Is it any good?

Serious privacy concerns aside, this app falls flat because it doesn't really do much: It's basically a clone of Tinder that lets users find Snapchat users who live near them. Other than a limited direct-chat feature that's unlocked when two users swipe right on each other, there's not much built into this app that isn't available elsewhere, and Yubo doesn't offer its own inventive features (such as fun filters) or any privacy settings to speak of. Plus, the ability to watch live videos of others just feels intrusive and creepy, and the superficial swiping mechanic sends a less-than-stellar message about making friends, since it's mostly based on appearance. Overall, using Yubo feels both tasteless and pointless, so it might be best to look elsewhere for ways to up your Snapchat game.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the long-term effects of sharing what are assumed to be private moments through apps like Yubo, Snapchat, and Instagram.

  • Encourage kids to be smart about what and how they share online in general. We have some great tips on safety and being a good digital citizen.

  • Like Tinder, Yubo's looks-only "like" or "pass" matchmaking style may send some users into a self-criticism frenzy if they don't receive a lot of "likes." Read Common Sense's blog post "Is Social Media Giving Your Teen a Negative Body Image?

  • Parents also can remind kids that nothing, once posted on the internet, ever really goes away -- and it can come back to haunt them.

App details

For kids who love social networking

Our editors recommend

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