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Social media: 8 apps teenagers are using that parents might not have heard of

From Kik Messenger to Houseparty, these are the apps that have recently been making the rounds among teenagers

Sabrina Barr
Monday 28 January 2019 15:25 GMT
Health secretary Matt Hancock: 'we must legislate' social media companies

The recent drastic growth of social media sites has made it increasingly difficult for parents to monitor the material their children are able to access online without their knowledge.

Health secretary Matt Hancock recently announced social media companies may be banned in the UK if they fail to remove damaging material from their platforms.

The announcement came following the death of 14-year-old Molly Russell, who’d been found to have come across imagery associated with depression, self-harm and suicide on social media.

While children and teenagers who use social media may not necessarily be at risk of suffering from mental health issues, parents or guardians may not be fully in-the-know when it comes to their children’s online activity.

For all they know, their children could be conversing with strangers on Kik Messenger or posting live streams from their bedrooms on apps such as or YouNow.

Here are eight apps teenagers are using that parents may not have heard of:

Kik Messenger allows its users to instantly message each other with ease.

The app is free to use when using basic features, and there's no limit on the quantity of messages you can send.

It's possible for users of Kik to chat to strangers if they've shared their Kik username with them.

The app has been heavily criticised with regards to child safety. In 2016, it was reported that a 13-year-old girl called Nicole Lovell may have been murdered by someone who she met on Kik.

TikTok is a video-sharing platform that many young people use to share videos of themselves lip syncing to songs and clips of themselves performing their own original musical content.

Users can make their TikTok's profiles private, so that people can only follow them if they've been approved.

However, just like with Instagram, they can also make their profiles public to all users of the app.

The concept of the Houseparty app is similar to that of a real houseparty - an opportunity for teenagers to commune in groups and socialise through live online video chats.

Group chats can consist of two to eight people at a time.

As the group video chats are live, it can be difficult to monitor what is said or shown on screen, which can be especially detrimental for young users depending on the direction of the conversation.

As with any live streaming platform, there's a huge risk that children and adolescents may be exposed to inappropriate content. allows its users to broadcast themselves in live videos and watch live videos broadcasted by other users, and also gives them the opportunity to earn virtual currency from their viewers.

People using the app can be contacted by any others who've come across their content.

YouNow is very similar to, in that it's a live streaming platform that gives users the chance to earn virtual gold bars from other users.

Many young users of YouNow use the app to share moments from their everyday lives, in a similar manner to popular vloggers on YouTube.

As such, parents or guardians may be unaware of the content teenagers or children are sharing with strangers online in real-time.

Going through adolescence can be a tough ordeal, especially if you're suffering from confidence issues.

With the Whisper app, users can anonymously share "confessions", alongside an accompanying picture.

As confessions on the app are anonymous, the content that young people using the app may come across can be quite disturbing and may impact their self-esteem.

The whole idea behind the Monkey app is to converse with random strangers by sharing their Snapchat usernames.

While users only comunicate with strangers over video for 10 seconds at a time, there's no telling who people using the app may be matched with for a brief conversation.

Before being matched with a stranger, you're provided with some information about them, including their age, gender and location.

You can then decide whether or not you want to accept the chat or not.

MeetMe is an app centred around the notion of socialising with new people.

When using the app, you can search for other users in your vicinity with whom you can start conversing.

While the idea of finding a complete stranger to talk with is dubious, people using the app are required to provide lots of personal information, including their first and last name, age and location.

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