App guide



App Name

App Symbol





Age 13+. The BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) app allows you to share messages and images. It also allows you to make free calls anywhere around the world.





Age 13+. Instagram is a picture and video sharing app. Users can post content and use hashtags to share experiences, thoughts or memories with an online community. You can follow your friends, family, celebrities and companies on Instagram. Instagram also has a direct messaging facility allowing users to share messages via private or group chats.




Age 13+. Facebook is a social network, which lets you create a page about yourself. You can add friends, share pictures and videos, write on people’s pages, send instant messages and join online groups.


Facebook Messenger



Age 13+. Facebook Messenger is an app which allows users to communicate with their friends from either their Facebook account or their phonebook. Users can instant message, create group chats, share photos and videos, record voice messages, have live video chats, or simply talk to their friends and family.




Age 13+. ooVoo is a video chat app. It lets you make video calls, voice calls and send texts to friends and family. You can also start a group video chat with up to 12 people. The default privacy settings are set to 'public', so you can talk to people you don't know, but they can be changed so that you can just talk to your friends.






Age 13+. Google+ is a space where you can share photos and videos, instant message or make video-calls. The site allows you to create 'circles' of contacts, so you can share different types of content with your different networks. It has a 'Hangout' section, where you can use your webcam to have meetings, group discussions or group catch-ups.




Pinterest is an online interactive pin board. You can create collections of pin boards using your own images and you can also re-pin things from other people.





For age 13+, Snapchat is an app that lets you send a photo or short video to your friends. The ‘snap’ appears on screen for a matter of seconds before disappearing. There’s also a feature called Snapchat Story that lets you share lots of snaps in a sequence for up to 24 hours.





Age 13+, YouTube is a place to watch, create and share videos. Videos can include things like music, animation, online blogs and clips from TV shows. You can create your own YouTube account, create a music playlist, and even create your own channel, which means you will have a public profile, and it allows you to comment on videos and create video playlists.





Age 13+. Twitter is a messaging service that lets you post public messages called tweets. These can be up to 140 characters long. As well as tweets, you can send private messages. Brands and companies can also have Twitter accounts.



Age 13+. is a social networking site where you can ask other people questions. It’s up to you whether you want to ask the question anonymously or not.





Age 13+. Viber is a computer program and app which lets you text, call, share photos and send video messages to people worldwide.





Age 13+. Kik is an instant messaging app. It lets you create your own username and message others without using your mobile number. You can share photos, organise events, share games, news and anything of interest to you from the internet.





Age 13+. Flickr is an online photo sharing site. You can share your own pictures and follow other people.

Chat and Play



The app offers a virtual world that might be appealing to children due to its cartoon-like customisation. You can create your own avatar as well stomising your own chatroom.




Age 13+. Skype allows you to make voice calls over an internet connection. It also has a chat function and allows the transmission of files from one person to another.





Age 13+. Tumblr is a social networking site that lets you share text, photos, quotes, links, audio clips, slideshows and videos. And you can customise your page and share other people’s posts. You can also send private messages.





Age 13+. Vine is a social networking app that lets you share 6-second videos that play on a loop. You can also repost videos created by others and leave comments.




Age 13+. WeChat is a voice and text messaging app with location and Bluetooth functionalities. WeChat allows you to contact other people randomly if they’re in a similar location or using certain functions of the app at the same time.





Age 16+. Free-of-charge, real-time messaging. You can share images and videos, take part in ‘group chats’ and share locations. You can only message someone if you already know their telephone number.





Age 13+. Telegram is an app available on both mobile and desktops, allowing free and safe messages for the sender. The app encrypts messages and gives you the ability to destroy them if unwanted.





Age 13+. This is a voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) app that is used primarily in the world of online gaming between gamers playing multi-player games. There are no restrictions about who can chat to who.





Chatroulette is a website which lets you talk to another person anywhere in the world. When you go onto the site, Chatroulette connects you to someone at random. You can talk to people via video or text.





Aimed at over 18’s. Dattch aims to make it easier for lesbians to avoid feeling isolated and meet each other away from bars and clubs. The app asks users to verify security by linking it to their Facebook page. Dattch state their network is not for under-18s, although it is possible to claim a false age and bypass age verification questions.





Previously called ‘Bang with Friends’, Down is an app that allows users to find which of their Facebook friends are local and available to meet up. Down openly acknowledges and promotes that their community use their app for sexual encounter, yet their policies don’t restrict use to over-18s.





Aimed at bisexual and gay men, this app uses location and photos to encourage ‘like-minded’ meetings between strangers. Grindr introduces users to ‘matches’ within the closest geo-radius. Grindr is intended for over-18s, and asks the user to verify their age when signing up, however teens could use it regardless.





MeowChat’s distinctive look includes cartoon cats and allows users to send texts, images or audio clips. It encourages chatting with ‘like-minded’ strangers based on the user’s location at any time. MeowChat’s minimum sign up age is 13, yet chatrooms can contain bad language and invitations to private chats with strangers.





MyLOL is a ‘teen dating app’ aimed at 13-20 year olds. The network is moderated and key word detection is in operation. Following recent criticism, an upper age limit came into effect, however it has been reported that those older members with accounts registered before the change still have active accounts.





Users are ‘selected’ by other users as someone they’d like to meet by swiping on their photo. As it is location based, Tinder introduces users to ‘matches’ within the closest radius. Tinder’s minimum age is 13 as it uses Facebook’s signup age policy.





The app allows users to record a short voice clip and other users decide whether they want to chat before they’re able to see a photo. If users don’t find the person attractive once they see their picture, they have 5 seconds to change their mind. The minimum age for signup is 13.





Whisper is an anonymous messaging app where users are encouraged to share stories they wouldn’t want to put their name to. Whisper includes a category whereby users can search for ‘Meet Up’ – in this category there can sexual images and messages. Whisper is rated 17+ in the app store, but many teens could use it regardless.


Yik Yak



Yik Yak is an anonymous messaging app that allows its users to send text and photos to others without using their name. Users can choose to engage with the feeds of others within a certain radius of themselves. Yik Yak is aimed at 18 year olds, but teens could click past the age verification and use it anyway.

Apps to help young people overcome chatting problems


Send This Instead


The Send This Instead app has been developed to help children combat sexting from peers. The app gives a range of optional images with humorous messages so that children can send these as a response to sexting, putting them back in control.




Made by ChildLine, Zipit aims to help teenagers deal with difficult sexting and flirting situations. The app offers humorous comebacks, advice, and aims to help teenagers stay in control of flirting when chatting.


Information has been taken from the following websites where further information can also be found: - compiled by NSPCC and O2.