While this article from the Daily Mail is sensationalized, it’s not without its merits concerning the new Snapchat companion app: Yellow.
Yellow is not made by Snap Inc. themselves, however it does encourage Snapchat’s users to ‘Make new friends on Snapchat. This reminds me of the random cam chat site Omegle, who encourages their users to ‘Talk to Strangers’. Yellow is being called the Tinder of Snapchat as users have to swipe left or right on their devices in order to show which of the other users they wish to chat with. Once a mutual swipe is done between two users they can start messaging each other through snapchat.
As is usual with any of these type of apps, anyone can lie about their age or who they are. Not only does that mean that underage kids can lie about being over 18, but predators can lie about their age and say that they’re only 18. That’s not even mentioning the predators who are looking for adult victims as well. Yellow’s developers say that there is an option to report users who are being abusive but that will be little comfort to anyone who is assaulted after meeting their Snapchat ‘friend’, or a minor being extorted after sending explicit pictures.
Yellow has every right to develop any app they want within reason however that doesn’t mean that as a parent you should trust them to protect your kids. App developers only worry about the amount of money they can make off the app. So if you are a parent to underage kids with smart phones or tablets, keep an eye out for this app and consider holding on to their devices at night. As a parent you are the only real line of defense between predators and your kids.