Social networks, apps and games
YOLO app icon

YOLO

YOLO is an app that lets users anonymously ask and answer questions posted on Snapchat stories. YOLO says that anyone aged 13 or over needs parental permission to use the app.

13+

Official age rating

Kids use this to...

Play

Create

Learn

Connect

Our safety ratings

Overall safety rating:

Our overall rating for YOLO

Very Poor

YOLO has an age rating of 18+ but it can be used by children aged 13-17 with parental permission. The app determines age using the date of birth provided when a user registers for a Snapchat account.

YOLO works by connecting to your Snapchat account. Using the app, you can post a question to your Snapchat story or a group chat which links back to YOLO. Snapchat friends can then anonymously reply to your question.

There is also a ‘Join your school’ feature which uses your location to suggest nearby school groups you might want to join.

Because the app is anonymised you should think carefully before allowing your child to use it as these types of apps can sometimes encourage users to behave differently.

Safety features

There are no parental controls and there is no safety information available for parents.

Privacy & location

There are no privacy or location settings within YOLO as the app relies on the settings within Snapchat

Reporting & blocking

You can report content on YOLO by selecting the ‘Report inappropriate content’ button. However, as YOLO is an anonymous app there is no way to report or block a particular user.

Content

We didn’t come across any inappropriate content while exploring the app. However, there are lots of reports online about inappropriate behaviour and abuse on YOLO.

O2 Guru top tip

o2GuruLogo

Know how to report

Use the ‘report inappropriate content’ button if you come across anything inappropriate or upsetting.

Guru image for videos

Top tips for staying safe

Sitting down with your child and exploring YOLO together is a great way for you learn more about why they might like to use it.

This will also give you the opportunity to discuss some of the risks of using anonymous messaging apps and explore the different privacy settings available that can help them safe. 

You might also want to check out YOLO’s Terms of Service.

Under group chats, there’s a ‘Join your School’ feature. If you allow the app to use your location, YOLO will suggest nearby school group chats which you can join. You can then chat to other users anonymously.

There’s no way of knowing if the people in the chat actually attend the school and some of the messages sent might be inappropriate. We recommend not using this feature.

Your child might receive upsetting or inappropriate messages or comments from other users via YOLO. If this happens, they should report it by using the ‘report inappropriate content’ button. You will then get a message confirming it’s been reported.

Explore this feature with your child and talk about when they might want to use it.

And remember to let your child know that they can always talk to you about worrying things they see online.

There’s no way to know who sent you something on YOLO unless the sender chooses to reveal their own identity. But if you do find out who sent you something negative or upsetting, you or your child might want to block or remove them from their Snapchat friends list.

You have to do this through Snapchat, rather than YOLO. Follow Snapchat’s guidance on how to remove and block friends.

YOLO is just one of many anonymous messaging apps, like Tellonym.

Anonymous messaging apps can be used safely and positively but they can often encourage users to behave differently. This can lead to things like bullying or inappropriate comments.

Read our advice on anonymous messaging apps to learn more about the risks and how to stay safe.

You should help them think about the types of messages that appropriate on the app. Remind them to never send anything unkind or to share personal information about themselves or someone else.

Talk to them about what they would do if they were every upset by an anonymous comments they received online. And remind them that you’re always there if they need to talk about anything.

Explain that you understand the internet is a great place to play, create, learn and connect. But remind them they can talk to you if anything upsets or worries them.

Reassure them that you won’t overreact – you’re just looking out for them.

It’s important to remind your child that they can talk you, another adult they trust, like a teacher, or Childline about anything they see online.

new_father_son

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

Stay up to date

Get emails on the latest social networks, apps and games your kids are using, so you're always up to date.

Sign up
mother-daughter