What is the FriendO App?
Description: FriendO is another “quiz app” and feels similar to TBH (to be honest), Sarahah and Polly but, unlike these apps, it’s not anonymous. It lets users discover who their “true friends” really are (whether they are friends in real life or strangers) by having them answer questions or quizzes about each other. There are four top spots to fill and the more correct answers achieved by those answering the quizzes, the higher up the FriendO ranking board users will move. Corporate website: www.friendome.com
Category: Social Networking
APP Store rating: 17+ due to
- Infrequent/Mild Mature/Suggestive Themes
- Infrequent/Mild Profanity or Crude Humor
- Infrequent/Mild Alcohol, Tobacco, or Drug Use or References
- Infrequent/Mild Sexual Content and Nudity
What do Parents Need to Know About FriendO?
The app appears pretty innocent on the surface and plays more like a game than a friendship app with many of the topics being light-hearted and fun. However, if you dig a little deeper into some of the categories, the range of questions can be shocking and even offensive.
There are NSFW (not suitable for work) categories that are able to be unlocked and accessed once users invite at least three friends to join the app. As reported by Mashable, one category is titled “MSFK” (marry, sex, friend, kill), where quizzers are asked what they would prefer to do to a certain celebrity. Another risqué category is labeled “dirty” and contains questions regarding sexual behavior in bed and references to pornography. A recent update (Feb. 2018) seems to hint at “more….intimate subjects.”
Opportunities for connection with tricky people is possible. There’s a messaging component where users can search an entire database and friend request users they don’t know, and get them to play along. The app also can link to Facebook, opening up more avenues for “friends” to get acquainted.
No parental controls exist. Though the app states users from 13-18 years old must have parental permission (though the app is rated 17+, cue head scratch), there is no real way for this to be enforced. Users must enter a valid phone number to use the app but a fake email address and/or name to register could easily be substituted.
There is a hidden doorway to Google. It exists through the very standard “terms and conditions,” which is a common hidden Google search bar access point. At this time, Covenant Eyes is the only solution that monitors hidden Google searches.
Related post: 3 Reasons to Turn off the App Store
FriendO Bottom Line:
This app isn’t meant for teens. Though on the surface, it appears to be a game and is really popular among high school students, the available sexualized content and crude humor isn’t worth your kid’s time. Since the app even “goes out of its way” in the terms to state parental permission is required for those under 18, it’s a pretty good indicator there are topics you many not want to have your children interacting with or being exposed to.
Are you curious how to find apps that might be hidden on your child’s phone? Here’s how to discover if FriendO might be hiding somewhere on your child’s smart device:
- For an iPhone: go to the App Store app, select “Updates” in the lower right corner, then tap “Purchases” at the top, and this will show a complete inventory of every app that has been downloaded from the App Store with the Apple ID that the device is using.
- For Android: open the Google Play store app and tap the menu button (three lines). In the menu, tap My apps & games to see a list of apps currently installed on your device.