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3 Video Sharing Apps Your Kid is Probably Using

Words by
Josh Ruggles

APR 05, 2023

3 Video Sharing Apps Your Kid is Probably Using

YouTube has largely owned the video-sharing space up until recently.  Now there are several different ways technology has created ways to share videos. Whether it’s looking up a how-to video on Youtube, or watching a video gamer livestream their best Fortnite match, each video sharing platform has different advantages, disadvantages, and dangers. 

Let’s break down the most popular video apps, and what you, as a parent should know about them when it comes to your child and their safety.

YouTube

If you’re on the internet, you likely have had plenty of interaction with Youtube, as it’s the largest video sharing platform with more than 2,500 videos uploaded every second. Beyond clocking in over one billion video views a day, it’s also the second largest search engine, second only to its sister company Google. 

What’s dangerous about YouTube?

For starters, YouTube is similar to Google in that you can find almost anything and everything, good or bad, with a few clicks. The good news is that YouTube has robust parental controls, and they’re pretty adept at removing problematic content. But sometimes your child seeing problematic video content was far more than enough. Here are a few things to think about when it comes to your child using YouTube.

Explicit content on YouTube

YouTube does have in-depth content guidelines that specifically restrict pornography, self-harm content, and the like. However, creators can skirt the lines on most of the guidelines. For example: A user can upload a video with nudity, as long as it’s not gratuitous, or meant to be sexually gratifying, but they do technically allow content that includes nudity. The danger here is that kids and teens can start their YouTube journey in a safe place, and quickly wind up seeing things they didn’t plan on, and you wouldn’t want them to see.

Parasocial relationships on YouTube

Beyond the regular issues with kids being able to access all kinds of explicit and otherwise problematic content, YouTube creators, and vloggers live streaming or creating videos appear to have a significant role in young peoples’ lives. 

Data suggests that teens believe their favorite YouTube vlogger understands them better than their actual friends. This “parasocial relationship” is developed when an influential person creates an image of authenticity and accessibility, even if manufactured, that encourages the fan base to form close bonds with the creators.

Radicalization on Youtube

There is evidence that suggests YouTube algorithms tend to foster radicalization of young people. When someone interacts with types of content, YouTube is very good at feeding them similar content, this is sometimes referred to as the “Rabbit hole”, in which people click on one piece of content, and end up going on an unintentional deep dive on a topic.

YouTube’s recommended content wasn’t built to radicalize anyone, rather give them more of what they want. But with anyone being able to upload videos to YouTube, this function can be problematic when some creators have a specific, and divisive agenda they’re working to enact. This can be dangerous for kids and teens who are extremely impressionable, and may be swayed toward disinformation.

Twitch

Twitch is an online video sharing, and streaming platform mainly made for video gamers. While it’s likely the least-known platform on this list, but with more than 22.4 billion hours watched in 2022 it’s a much more popular video sharing app than you might think. In fact, it’s the world’s number one video streaming platform. And just like any other live streaming platform, there are many dangers for kids, including explicit content, and grooming by predators.

Explicit content on Twitch

Because of its focus on live streaming, Twitch makes it very difficult to stop explicit content. The site does have community guidelines that prohibit pornography, sexually explicit content, and threatens to ban accounts, and even report them to law enforcement if necessary. However, users willing to risk getting banned or worse can still stream the content, exposing their viewers to whatever they decide. 

Grooming on Twitch

A study by Bloomberg found that almost 280,000 children were targeted by predators on Twitch. In many cases, the predators will join livestreams of children, and ask them to do things, sometimes tipping them within the platform. 

Twitch has taken action in working to curb online predation by adding to their law enforcement response team, but users still only need to be 13 years old to join, and predators are still running rampant. 

TikTok

TikTok is the social media platform that popularized the short-form videos, and brought about the trend of lip syncing and dance videos. With more than 3.5 billion downloads, TikTok has become one of the top social media apps in the world, and is the hottest app among teens. But while the app has become a common app among today’s youth, there are plenty of issues that parents should know about. 

tiktok illustration

Explicit content on TikTok

Just like any other social media platform, TikTok allows users to interact with anyone in the world, meaning content can come from anywhere. The app has two main feeds: The “For You” content is curated by an algorithm based upon what the user has already been engaging with. The other feed is “Following”, which serves up content from the people a user follows. 

The “For You” is the most problematic, as it’s guessing what a user would want to see, and could show content that is sexually charged, or exhibits risky behavior. 

Grooming on TikTok

TikTok has been a recent hotspot for groomers who are targeting children. It’s been discovered that kids as young as eight were being groomed by predators, including being bombarded with explicit messages in private chats. Predators will typically compliment and flatter young users on their content, much of which is dance oriented, in order to gain trust.

With TikTok’s addition of the “Duet” feature, which allows users to remix another user’s dance. This new function has been exploited by predators, who remix young user’s content and include themselves. Additionally, TikTok’s lack of response makes the risk of predators much more dangerous.

Cybersecurity issues on TikTok

Beyond grooming and explicit concert concerns, TikTok’s data security is very problematic. The US government slapped TikTok with the biggest fine for collecting user data in history, by collecting data on children.

In addition, because the Chinese government has ties to TikTok, the US government recently banned TikTok on all government devices, due to data privacy concerns.

How to deal with video apps and your kids

If your kid already has a smartphone, it’s important to have an open discussion about the real dangers of video apps, and social media. It’s important to make sure your kid feels safe to talk to you about things they’ve seen, or interacted with. If you come to the conversation without the intent to get them in trouble, but to genuinely help, your child is more likely to listen. 

Kids and video sharing apps

If your kid already has a smartphone, it’s important to have an open discussion about the real dangers of video apps, and social media. It’s important to make sure your kid feels safe to talk to you about things they’ve seen, or interacted with. If you come to the conversation without the intent to get them in trouble, but to genuinely help, your child is more likely to listen. 

If you can have that open conversation, it’s a great time to set some boundaries on their video and social media use that work for your kid, and put you at ease.

Kid-safe phones make it easy

One definite way to ensure your child or teen don’t get themselves into trouble on any of these apps is a kid-safe phone that has safeguards in place. 


Gabb devices are the safest phone for kids. With no access to the internet, no app store, and no addictive games, Gabb provides great options for keeping your kid safe until they’re able to interact on social media responsibly. Find out more about Gabb devices.

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