Social networks, apps and games
Bigo_logo_edited_June21

Bigo

Bigo Live is a free app and website which is used for livestreaming with others around the world. You can also interact with people nearby and the app openly promotes contact with strangers. Streamers use voice and video chat and viewers are able to interact with the streamer by text chat and awarding gifts (in-app purchases).

18+

Official age rating

18+

Net Aware age recommendation

Kids use this to...

Play

Create

Learn

Connect

Watch

Our safety ratings

Overall safety rating:

Our overall rating for Bigo

Poor

The Bigo app is designed for users 18+ and therefore has no parental control features, very few privacy features and the ability to report content is very limited. Creating an account is very easy and age verification (facial recognition) is in place, however bypassing the facial recognition authentication process is likely to be very easy. When creating an account you are prompted to fill in your full real name, gender and birthday.

Within the app you can explore accounts nearby and around the world where you are also able to pick specific countries to explore, as well as different categories using hashtags.

Going live to a public audience is simply a matter of tapping a button and within an hour of creating a new account we had lots of fans/followers and lots of messages from others.

We do not think this app is suitable for anyone under the age of 18.

Safety features

There are no parental controls or safety features. Bigo state that age verification is carried out using artificial intelligence (facial recognition) however we were able to create an account without uploading any photo. As ID isn’t required a child could use an image of an adult to create an account if they are asked for a photo.

Privacy & location

Your location is turned on by default when creating an account and using the app, however location settings can be turned off on the device and you can hide your location within Settings – Privacy.

There are various settings within Settings – Privacy, which includes "Hide your videos in Nearby" and "Hide yourself in Nearby", "Hide recent active time", "Do not accept strangers Live invitations" and "Hide online status". However, the primary feature of Bigo is to connect with others around the world, which means there isn’t a way to set your account or content to private.

Reporting & blocking

You are able to block or report a user from within their profile, however reporting inappropriate content is very limited. The only report function we found was a small, light grey button whilst watching a live stream, however this was hard to find.

Content

We found examples of sexualised content in posts and live streams from those doing the live streams and users commenting on the live streams.

O2 Guru top tip

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Let your child know they can talk to you

For some children live streaming is a way they can stay connected with friends. It’s important to check in regularly with your child about who they’re talking to.

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Top tips for staying safe

Explore our Net Aware reviews to help find an app, site or game that might be more suitable for your child. Here are some things you might want to look out for:

  • Age ratings
  • Parental controls
  • Chat features

Help your child think about what they share online, whether in a video or an image or text, and who sees it. Compare it to what they would be happy to share offline.

Use examples that are easy for them to understand: “You shouldn't give your number to somebody you don't know on the street. Is somebody online you don't know any different?”

Listen to their answers. And be positive and encouraging.
Remind them that they shouldn’t share private things, such as:

  • personal information, like names, emails, phone numbers, location and school names
  • other people's personal information
  • links to join private group chats
  • photos of themselves
  • photos of their body, such as sexual photos or videos.

The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Command (CEOP) helps keep children safe from online grooming. If you suspect it is an adult who is in contact with your child and they are behaving inappropriately then you should report this to the CEOP.

We’d advise any users turn off their location on this app. You can do this in Settings > Privacy.

If your child sees something online that upsets or worries them it’s important that you both know where you can get further support.  If you’re worried about your child or need advice you might want to call the NSPCC helpline on 0808 800 5000.

Encourage your child to look at the Childline website, which has a range of great advice articles:

Feeling good on social media
Coping with stress
Worries about the world

Childline’s Calm zone is also packed with tools and activities to help your child de-stress and discover news techniques that can support them when they’re feeling down. Young people can also talk about their worries with others on the Childline message boards.

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Talking to your child

Having open, regular conversations with your child will help you to really understand and explore the online world together. Our tips and advice can help you start these conversations.

Talk about staying safe online

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