Experts in digital safety
Social trends come and go, but the short video format popularized by TikTok is here to stay. This way of sharing video content has revolutionized social media, with social giants like Instagram scurrying to imitate with “reels”, and copycats springing up left, right, and center. One such app is Likee, a fresh face in social video looking to secure its place in the hall of fame. But is the Likee app safe? And should kids be using it at all?
What is the Likee app?
Likee is a short video sharing app where users can:
- Upload their own short videos, using stickers, filters and other effects
- Gain followers
- Broadcast their own livestream, or watch others live
- Search hashtags and browse content from users around the world
- Comment on other users’ videos
- Buy virtual gifts and send them to other users
What is Likee used for?
Likee is a space to watch short-form videos, and engage with content that sparks interest. On signup, you enter “favours” to let the app know what your main interests are. This is designed to provide you with a more personalized feed. Interests include typical hobbies, like makeup, basketball, or travel – but they also offer options more suited to younger tastes, such as Roblox, Pokémon Go, and pop toys.
Just like with other social video platforms, Likee offers a variety of stickers and effects to encourage creativity. Likee also offers in-app purchases, allowing you to send gifts to other users as a “reward” for uploaded content. These gifts can be exchanged for real-life currency.
How old do you have to be to use Likee?
|USA, UK, Canada, Brazil, Russia, Ukraine||13+|
|Australia, France, New Zealand||15+|
|Iran, Germany, and other European countries||16+|
Is Likee safe?
Despite the age restrictions above, it’s important to note that you don’t actually need to have a profile or enter your date of birth to begin browsing on Likee. On desktop, the homepage shows the most popular videos of the moment in your location, while the app allows you to browse and swipe on popular videos without creating any sort of profile or entering your age.
When considering app safety, bear in mind that Likee, just like any other social network:
- Collects your data
- Allows you to connect with strangers
- Displays your image and content in a public place, where anyone can find it
Why the Likee app is dangerous for kids
Likee is an unsafe environment for children, even if they’re just browsing, but especially if they’re uploading their own content. Unlike with other social platforms like TikTok and Instagram, you cannot make your Likee account private. This means that young children can easily create an account, and start interacting with strangers in seconds, in comments sections or by uploading their own videos.
And that’s not all.
For every innocent video of a dance trend, or recipe instructions, you’ll find yourself swiping through a landslide of inappropriate content uploaded to the Likee feed. In Qustodio testing, we browsed Likee extensively, but even within the first few minutes of use, we were met with:
- Overtly sexual imagery and suggestive language
- Videos of minors engaging in suggestive acts
- Inappropriate language
- Insulting and derogatory comments on videos of minors
- Suggestive comments on videos of minors
Plus, there’s no way of telling who’s behind the profile when interacting with users on Likee, and the gifting system means younger users could be easily coerced, bribed, or manipulated.
Because of the Likee app’s safety concerns, and overwhelmingly inappropriate content, we’d suggest cutting the platform off at the source and blocking it completely on your child or teenager’s phone.
How to block Likee app
With Qustodio, you can receive alerts whenever your child downloads a new application, and block the apps of your choice. If you’re okay with your child using an app, you can still limit the time they spend on it, to help keep use as intentional as possible. Qustodio also allows you to block URLs, meaning your child won’t be able to access Likee on any device.
In addition to blocking the Likee app, regular discussion about your child’s online habits, and an understanding of what they enjoy doing when they go online is key. Through open, honest dialogue, and working with your children to help them understand both the positive and the negative sides of the internet, you’ll be well on your way to building healthy social media habits that will last a lifetime.