Is the Amino App safe?
A complete app review for parents
What is the Amino App?
Description: The Amino App (link to manufacturer’s site) is a “network of communities [that] lets you explore, discover, and obsess over the things you’re into. Each Amino (community) has great content, the friendliest of people, and exciting events.”
It is essential a collection of affinity groups – “Asian Girls,” “LGBT+,” “Pansexual,” “Sexy RP” (role play), “Super Hero Boys,” “Basketball Fans,” and anything else you might like. Collections of people who identify a certain way. Here are additional ways the app describes itself:
– DISCOVER and search communities for whatever you’re passionate about
– CHAT with likeminded people across the world
– WATCH videos, read blogs, and share favorites
– POST your own blogs, polls, and more
– GET the latest news and info about your interests
– CUSTOMIZE your profile and grow a following
Category: Social Networking
APP Store rating: 12+ due to: Infrequent/Mild Sexual Content and Nudity, Alcohol, Tobacco, or Drug Use or Reference, Realistic Violence, Horror/Fear Themes, Cartoon or Fantasy Violence, Profanity or Crude Humor, Mature/Suggestive Themes, Medical/Treatment Information [we found all of these items].
What do parents need to know about the Amino app?
It’s where some kids go to find like-minded peers. For some kids, it’s comforting knowing that they’re not the only ones feeling a certain way or who like a certain thing. But, at the same time, parents will have to decide how much self-exploration they want to allow. At Protect Young Eyes, we believe kids need strong direction from parents and if applicable, their Creator for their identity. Some self-exploration is absolutely necessary. But, culture doesn’t always know best.
Is there pornography? Not in the strict sense. The app actually seems to do a pretty good job of using the community and moderators to police content. But, every app that allows people to chat is always going to have sexualized conversation. For example, in the search, we typed in the word “sexy,” and clicked on a chat that came up in the search results. It was from someone named Sam Johnson, who said, “I want to do something kinky……I’m really open for suggestions.” Under the Aminos that showed up in search results, was one called “gay.sex” which we joined, where we were quickly shown a chat which said, “I’m looking for a guy to suck me off, pm me :)” In summary, we didn’t find pornography. But, there’s plenty of content that no young person should see.
The Amino App is social media. Every aspect of a social media ecosystem is present: chat, pictures, comments, likes, profiles, micro-blogging. This means that although the app’s minimum age of use is 13, it has features that 13-year-olds are not ready for. We’ve spent a lot of time analyzing the right age to give kids social media, so that you can decide for your son or daughter.
Related Post: What’s the Right Age to Give My Child Social Media?
Each Amino has its own Wiki. The members of the Amino can submit items and then the crowd decides if it sticks.
Beware of imposters. This article from The Sun shares the story of a young girl who was asked by a man posing as an Amino employee to send a topless photo as verification that she was a girl. [Trigger warning – this Sun article has some sexually suggestive ads attached to it]
Does the Amino App have hidden Google access? Surprisingly, we couldn’t find any!
Beware of Other Amino Apps. Young people will be attracted to Amino’s sister apps, like Equestria Amino (My Little Pony), Smash Amino, Crafty Amino, and there are many, many more in the App Store. They all seem to connect back to the main Amino platform, which is a problem (I joined Equestria and it took me directly to Amino where I joined the Equestria Amino – the Equestria App was really just a “cover” for adding me to Amino). This is good for Amino’s traffic, but very sneaky.
As you can see, these are mature themes. Are your kids ready for this content? Especially considering the app store rating of age 12 (grade 6-7).
The bottom line: is the Amino App safe for your kids?
The Amino App isn’t for most kids. It’s in our 15+ range based on what we’ve described above, similar to the age range we recommend for Snapchat and Instagram. There are no parental controls and the abundance of sexualized content makes it a risky app.
Now What? Have you Heard of Bark?
Are you interested in having greater insight into the social media platforms that your kids are using? Bark is one of the best platforms we’ve tested. They’re constantly looking for ways to dig further into apps like Amino, to keep parents of the information that matters. We trust them and we think you should, too!
*There are 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!