teen dating apps

Popular Teen Dating Apps And Websites Parents HAVE To Know About

Dating in your teens isn’t exactly what it used to be … no more calling the house phone or passing notes in class.

Instead, it’s all about the teen dating apps (especially with the rise of social distancing). They’re a great way for teenagers to meet each other, socialize, and of course, date.

However, even though dating apps help connect people, they aren’t 100% safe. Unfortunately, dating apps can expose your child to inappropriate content, catfishing, predatory behavior, and other issues.

So let’s talk about the most popular teen dating apps (and websites) you as a parent should know about. Here’s what’s inside this guide:

  1. Top 12 most popular teen dating apps
  2. Can teens use other social media sites for dating?
  3. How to prevent dating apps from becoming dangerous

Top 12 most popular teen dating apps

#1: Yubo

Age limit

  • Two versions
  • One version for 13 – 17 year olds
  • One version for 18+

Overview

Yubo is an app designed for teenagers to meet each other. However, it’s also known as “Tinder for teenagers.” Users are grouped by location and shared interests.

Features

  • Public livestreaming
  • Private messages

Potential dangers parents should know about

  • Anyone between 13 and 25 can join a public livestream
  • There’s no age verification (so it’s easy to make “fake” profiles)
  • Catfish and predators may lurk on the app behind fake identifies

#2: Skout

Age limit

  • Minors
  • Adults

Overview

Skout is an app and a website that groups users by location. In addition, users can chat with other users who have “liked” them.

Features

  • App and website formats
  • Livestreaming
  • Local feed of users to scroll through

Potential dangers parents should know about

  • It’s easy for minors and adults to connect
  • No formal age verification system
  • General location area is exposed

#3: MyLOL

Age limit

  • 17+
  • Adults

Overview

MyLOL (or Mylol) is a dating app and website marketed toward teenagers over the age of 17. Users can engage in direct chat, or “global” chat with one another.

Features

  • “Shake” your phone to start a conversation
  • Direct messages
  • Text and images

Potential dangers parents should know about

  • Many users post nude and sexually explicit images
  • Chat topics may include drugs, alcohol, and violence
  • Review sites report high risk of predators

#4: MeetMe

Age limit

  • None

Overview

MeetMe is another website and app marketed as a way to meet people. Users can chat with one another or choose the “Quick” function to meet in real life ASAP.

Features

  • Livestreaming
  • Chat
  • Exchange “virtual presents” ($$$)

Potential dangers parents should know about

  • Possibly affiliated with Skout
  • Highly focused on meeting strangers
  • Mature content and no age verification

#5: Hot or Not

Age limit

  • 18+

Overview

Also known as “Chat & Date,” Hot or Not is a rating site that lets users rate one another based on attractiveness and uploaded photos.

Features

  • Left and right “swiping”
  • Location-based
  • Video chat

Potential dangers parents should know about

  • Easy to sneak around age verification
  • Focused on meeting strangers

#6: Allo Talk

Age limit

  • None

Overview

AlloTalk is a social and messaging app marketed as a “free teen chat room.” Users can join private chats and/or video chats.

Features

  • No need to register
  • Video chat / cam chat
  • Anonymous messaging

Potential dangers parents should know about

  • Easy to bypass age verification
  • No registration required

#7: Teen Chat

Age limit

  • None

Overview

The controversial chat website lets users register with an email address, or sign up anonymously, to talk with strangers.

Features

  • Anonymous chat
  • Free to use
  • Can sign up with or without an email address

Potential dangers parents should know about

  • Police reports indicate the site is “not safe for any child, kid, or teen”
  • Easy to get around age verification
  • Easy to get around identity verification

#8: Teens.Town

Age limit

  • None stated in Terms of Use

Overview

Teens.Town is a chat and social network website designed for teenagers. The site claims to be the “safest social network for teenagers.”

Features

  • Chat rooms
  • Community forums

Potential dangers parents should know about

  • The Terms of Use doesn’t state any minimum or maximum age

#9: Taffy

Age limit

  • 18+

Overview

Taffy is a meet, chat, and dating app. It works largely like Tinder. However, users can’t see profile photos until after they start messaging one another.

Features

  • Left and right “swiping”
  • Profile images are blurry until users send messages to each other
  • Post-driven (instead of profile-driven)

Potential dangers parents should know about

  • Users are connected based on location
  • Rated “Mature” in app stores
  • Taffy lets users login with their Facebook accounts

#10: SpotAFriend

Age limit

  • 13 – 17

Overview

SpotAFriend is marketed as an app to meet friends. However it features left-and-right swiping functionality similar to many popular dating apps.

Features

  • Left and right “swiping”
  • Private messaging
  • Location-based

Potential dangers parents should know about

  • Users choose which age range to connect with
  • Review sites indicate the app has inappropriate content
  • Users may publicly list their social media information

#11: Bumble

Age limit

  • 18+

Overview

Bumble is one of the most commonly known dating apps that’s designed for people age 18 or older. It stands out because only women can make the “first move.”

Features

  • In-app activities
  • Quiz games
  • Direct messages and video chat

Potential dangers parents should know about

  • Despite being a well-known app, Bumble is NOT for kids or teenagers
  • Bumble is a dating app for adults age 18+

#12: Happn

Age limit

  • 18+

Overview

Happn is the dating app that only shows users other users who have recently been in the same general location. Like many other dating apps, there are free and paid versions.

Features

  • Based on real-time location
  • Send voice messages
  • Set in-app statuses

Potential dangers parents should know about

  • Location-based dating app that displays profiles nearby
  • Review sites report the app has sexual content that’s inappropriate for kids and teens

Can teens use other social media sites for dating?

Absolutely. Teenagers can (and do) use other social media apps like Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, and others for dating purposes. This is why it’s so important to monitor social media accounts on top of the apps mentioned earlier.

  • Facebook
  • Facebook Messenger
  • YouTube
  • WhatsApp
  • Instagram
  • WeChat
  • Snapchat
  • TikTok
  • Reddit
  • Twitter

Plus, teenagers may make their way onto adult dating apps like Tinder, Hinge, and others if they can manage to “fake” their age. While many adult dating apps ask for age upon registration, there aren’t any age verification processes.

We recommend parents keep an eye on which apps their teenagers download and regularly use. We also suggest you monitor internet history since some apps are available through browsers as well.

How to prevent teen dating apps from becoming dangerous

Dating apps can expose your child to inappropriate content, catfishing, predators, and other online threats. The good news is that there are two major ways to help prevent teen dating apps from becoming dangerous for your kid.

Open up a line of communication

First, talk with your kids. Have an open discussion about why dating apps for kids can be dangerous. Specifically, explain that strangers behind dating app profiles could be an adult with malicious intentions. Sometimes those strangers may send messages containing inappropriate content like pictures, texts, or links to adult-themed websites.

You can also explain that even if someone is around your teenager’s age, they could be someone they aren’t (this is called catfishing). Catfishing on dating sites for teenagers may result in embarrassment, shame, and other negative emotions or consequences.

In addition, let your teenager know they can come to you with questions about dating, dating apps, and online safety.

Install a parental control app

Next, set up MMGuardian parental control on your teenager’s phone. MMGuardian helps set screen time limits to prevent your child from using their phone late at night when you aren’t awake.

So, for example, if your child stays up late scrolling dating sites for kids, you can set a time limit for 10PM. This cuts off your teenager’s access to their phone at a specific time so they get a good night’s sleep instead.

MMGuardian also helps parents monitor text messages and many popular social media apps. You can set up content monitoring and other parental control features to send automatic safety alerts straight to your phone. Safety alerts notify you when your teenager encounters potential predators, messages indicative of sexting or suicide ideation, inappropriate content, and more including:

  • Web filtering and blocking
  • Location tracking
  • App controls
  • Contact management
  • Safety alerts and reports

How to install MMGuardian

  1. Install the MMGuardian Parent App on your smart device
  2. Install the MMGuardian Child App on your child’s smart device
  3. Monitor and control your child’s smart device from your device

Parents can monitor across Android and iOS devices including iPhones and iPads. Best of all, it doesn’t matter if you and your teeanger have different devices.

 

Get MMGuardian for Android

Get MMGuardian for iPhone

Final thoughts on teen dating apps and websites

Teenagers use teen dating apps to connect with one another and meet new people. While this isn’t inherently dangerous, dating apps can pose a threat to your child’s safety. Here’s a recap:

  • Popular dating sites for teenagers include Yudo, Skout, MyLOL, MeetMe, Hot or Not, Allo Talk, and several others
  • It’s important to understand that not all of these apps are designed for teenagers
  • Generally speaking, it’s relatively easy for anyone of any age to get around age restrictions and identity verification
  • Talk with your child about how to stay safe online, including on dating apps and websites
  • Consider installing parental control apps like MMGuardian to monitor your teenager’s online behavior and keep them safe

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