***This app is available on both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store as of mid-July 2020***
What is Zynn?
Description: Zynn is a copycat app out of China, borrowing everything from TikTok. Everything. Short-form, 15-second videos with stickers, music, effects and more. It has a singular purpose of growing through a pay-to-watch and share pyramid scheme.
It pays you to watch its short videos. Time watching turns into points, which can then be redeemed for gift cards or cash via PayPal. Certain activities, like creating an account ($1) also earn money.
Zynn is owned by Kuaishou, a $30B tech start-up that’s trying to compete with Douyin, the Chinese owner of TikTok. In other words, don’t let the California address fool you – that’s all for looks as Zynn tries to buy US market share.
As of the writing of this app review, Zynn was still the #1 free app in the Apple App Store, which is quite an accomplishment. Here are the top three on June 11, 2020:
Now Zynn is being accused of simply copying videos from influencers and illegally posting them, which now has them banned from the Google Play store. Here’s a quote from Wired magazine:
“…Zynn is filled with videos that appear to be stolen from creators on other social media platforms, including TikTok celebrities with massive followings like Charli D’Amelio and Addison Rae…Four influencers who spoke to WIRED said videos they originally published to TikTok, Instagram, or YouTube were uploaded to Zynn without their consent, under accounts they didn’t open.”
Corporate website: https://www.zynn.us/
Category: Social Networking
APP Store rating and privacy:
- 12+ in Apple App Store
- Removed from Google Play on June 10 due to plagiarism.
- Terms of service
What do parents need to know about Zynn?
Below is a list of items we try to evaluate with each app we review. But Zynn is unique – it’s doing something that no other traditional social media-like apps has done – it PAYS you to use it.
So, we don’t even have a category for that kind of feature in our normal list of things we look for. But here’s a quick run down of how payments work in Zynn:
- An hour of watch time = $1.20 (rounded)
- Refer a friend to the app = $20 with some bonuses in there
- Redeem for PayPal (they stopped this for a while due to “glitches”) or gift cards. We see a lot of complaints in the app store reviews related to payouts.
Does Zynn have easily accessible inappropriate content?
No, we flipped through the recommended videos and nothing inappropriate came up. We also tapped into followers on accounts, looking for those that have names the include explicit words, and didn’t find much either.
Do Zynn’s features facilitate predatory activity?
No. There’s no messaging.
Does Zynn share your location?
Does Zynn have direct messaging?
No. This also puts it low on the cyberbullying list. There just aren’t many ways to interact with others, other than following their account or liking their videos.
Does Zynn have ads and in-app purchases?
Yes. Ads around every corner.
Does Zynn make it easy to report bad content?
The bottom line – is Zynn safe for your kids?
Zynn is a privacy nightmare that doesn’t care about anything other than growth. That’s a recipe for something that just isn’t safe for young people. We advise you and your kids to stay away!
- Talk to your kids about your expectations about what types of apps are allowable.
- If you want to allow kids to pick apps but with permission – Set up Family Sharing (iPhone) or Family Link (Android).
- If you want to prevent access to app stores altogether – Turn off the App Store in Screen Time (iPhone) or use an App Lock (Android).
Interested in having greater control over social media?
Then you should consider Bark, which monitors over 30 platforms and now has screen time and content (porn) controls. Bark is one of the best platforms we’ve tested for tweens and teens. If your kid is using social media, then they need Bark. We trust them and we think you should, too!
*There may be affiliate links throughout this post because we’ve tested and trust a small list of parental control solutions. Our work saves you time! If you decide that you agree with us, then we may earn a small commission, which does nothing to your price. Enjoy!