Risk Score

App Details

Yolo (You Only Live Once) is an app that lets anonymous questions be posed to Snapchat users and according to the BBC, has become the most-downloaded iPhone app in the UK and US just a week after its release (9/5/2019).

Snapchat launched a software creation platform called Snap Kit last year, which lets developers integrate their products into the social network. Yolo lets people post a graphic which invites people to "send me anonymous messages", which is superimposed over a photo. This post can be attached to a Snapchat Story and shared more widely, or sent to a specific set of Snapchat contacts.

An anonymous message can then be sent via Yolo itself by those who see the message. If the original message poster decides to respond, their reply is in turn posted back to Snapchat.

Why is it a risk?

"Apps such as Yolo that allow anonymous comments could be easily misused to send abusive or upsetting messages," the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC)'s Andy Burrows told the BBC. "Snapchat should justify how this app meets their duty of care to children."

US-based charity Protect Young Eyes said "Anonymity... has always created a breeding ground for hate and very poor teen decision-making. The rating is too low at 12+."

The risky nature of this app is hinted at by it's name Yolo - You Only Live Once. We think the anonymity of this app combined with its association with Snapchat, the concerns of the NSPCC, and the low age rating of 12 makes this a high risk app and parents should ensure certainly their young teens are not using it.

15.2.2020 Parents warned to stop their children using YOLO app as expert describes it as 'an open door for sexual predators'. Daily Mail article here.

18.6.2019 Yolo Stirs Controversy: Article in Tom's Guide here

Scroll to Top