Description: Live.ly is a “live video streaming platform created by musical.ly. You can start a live.ly to broadcast to your fans and friends, and have real-time interactions…” Basically, you can take advantage of something that used to only be available to network TV and broadcast yourself real-time, anytime to anyone who is on the app. Take a snapshot, comment, send digital gifts, follow broadcasters, etc.
Category: Video Sharing
APP Store rating: 12+
Sleepover Nightmare – imagine it’s midnight, and a pair of teen girls using horrible language and wearing skimpy pajamas, are having a live conversation being viewed by hundreds of random people who are daring them to do or say certain things. What could possibly go wrong? This is live.ly and all other live streaming platforms like it (Periscope, YouNow). And, it’s a ton of fun, but it’s also a toxic mess of temptation for any young Internet user. Here are some screenshots of video streams from a random night:
Zero Privacy – kids just aren’t aware of how much information they are giving away when they are streaming live from their homes and other personal environments. Streamers might forget they have hundreds of strangers peering into the bedroom they are broadcasting from, watching them answer personal questions from anonymous viewers. Watching the broadcasts requires no registration or age verification of any kind.
Some Blockage – Live.ly is effectively blocked with the “social networking” category on OpenDNS (you have to manually check this category to exclude content). There aren’t any monitoring reports for what is happening on the app.
Too Young – way too many of the users are way too young for social media, let alone live streaming their life to complete strangers. Viewers give emojis to streamers, which is fun, but attracts a younger crowd.
Many tweens will think this app is fun, especially due to its connection to musical.ly but as a parent, live streaming “life” is frightful, especially for a young Internet user who might take risks to get noticed. Parents should take extreme caution when deciding if their younger kids should use this app based on the risks not. For better control over all of the apps that your son or daughter might be using, you might consider Circle with Disney.