Yellow App is Popular and Risky


Yellow app is popular and risky. It’s a free meeting app that has been described as ‘Snapchat meets Tinder’ and ‘Tinder for teens’. Although Tinder is a dating or hook-up app for over eighteens, Yellow says it is about “making new friends on Snapchat.”

(Not familiar with Snapchat and Tinder?

Read more about Snapchat here and here.

More about Tinder can be found here and here.)

Yellow app is popular and risky, so if you find the plain yellow icon on your teen’s devices, it’s time to have a chat. Yellow works by combining Snapchat, Instagram and GPS technology. Users can “meet” on Yellow and continue their “friendship” on Snapchat, where photos and videos can be swapped.

Plenty of young people use Snapchat for legitimate interactions and innocent fun. However, as many parents are aware, photos and videos shared on Snapchat ‘disappear’ a few seconds after viewing, making it a useful tool for sexting. Most users know ways to save images that are meant to disappear, but few young people are aware (or seem to be concerned) that forensic work can retrieve the images from the phone’s hard drive as well. Kids need to understand the ‘vanishing act’ is more marketing than reality.

Yellow’s cybersafety risks have been reported in the media in many countries around the world. In Australia, police warned parents about the dangers associated with Yellow, such as exposure to inappropriate language and content, sexting and grooming by predators.

Liz Burke from reports, “Along with security concerns, there have been reports of children being pressured to send nude photographs and being coaxed into explicit sexual conversation while using the app.”

Yellow’s Safety Issues for Young Users:

  • Creating a profile requires first name, gender, date of birth and a profile picture.
  • The app facilitates the linking of young people with strangers.
  • The app says users have to be seventeen, but there is no robust verification of age. Yellow developers claim that adults cannot view the profiles of users who are under 18, but there is nothing to stop adults from claiming to be under 18 years. There is no way to verify that the profile matches the person using it, which makes it an ideal tool for predators.
  • The app appeals to young users because of its fun combination of a Tinder-style swipe-n-meet mechanism and emojis. Although the emojis seem like a fun way to describe yourself, some emojis have explicit or hidden sexual meanings.
  • Yellow requires the user to turn on GPS on their device. This means that whoever they are chatting with can see their info AND their location in real-time.

Popular apps that do not have good blocking or adequate safety measures are playgrounds for predators. Because Yellow app is popular and risky for young users, Australian cybersafety experts advise parents to tell their children to steer clear of it.


Image Credit: Tom Sodoge, via Unsplash