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What is Fling? An app review for parents

What is Fling? An app review for parents

Can you imagine sending a video, text or picture from your mobile device to 50 random people around the world? That is what this app does. Fling is video bases social media application teens are using and there are some things parents should know.

What is Fling?

Fling is a social media application used by teens and adults to share video, text and images with at least 50 random people from around the world. If they like it they can respond to it and send messages or chat with the user. The general idea is that a user can “fling” their posts to random people and allow them to interact with that post.

Fling is based out of the United Kingdom and boasts of having over 4.5 million users. While this number may seem low the majority of its users are teens and young adults roughly between the ages of 14-21. It is popular in Europe and the company has started to market more heavily in the United States. It is reported that they have raised just under $20 million dollars to continue to develop and market the application.

The design of the application is very simple which makes it appealing to teens. The interface is minimal with very intuitive ways to film, text message or take a photo to share. Once a user is registered the application shows how a user how to use it as well.

Since the filming of this video Fling has added a new feature which is called, “reactions.” This allows a user to see the reactions from others who have viewed their content.

For more information about Fling you can visit their website.

Parent concerns

The content on Fling is random. It often includes inappropriate images and requests for inappropriate images.

Initially there were issues with bullying and harrassment associate with the application. The founder of Fling and CEO Marc Nardone implemented some changes to the application. Currently their is a team of 20 content screeners who go through the content to be sure bullying stops with the app. His goal to be sure that the application can be in a position to remain a positive platform moving forward and to ensure users have a good experience. It is important to note that the screeners only review content that is available for public view and not for private chat messages.

The application as states they delete “flings” in 24 hours but anyone shared online can be copied, shared and distributed again by others. Parents need to let their children know the dangers this can present.

The language may be inappropriate for children based on parent values.

If your child is using this app

This app is easy to find on your child’s device. The icon is a paper airplane.

If you find your child is using this application you should talk to them about what they use it for and determine if it is appropriate for them. You will not have the luxury of seeing things they have shared unless they have shared something within the last 24 hours. Fortunately you will be able to review their private messages with other users.

To help you talk to your children about internet safety use the skill of Effective Communication to begin the discussion.

Safety begins at home

Parents who allow their children to have phones, tablets or use the computer should have rules in place. Establishing these rules early can help protect children and keep the internet a safe place. Here are some rules parents should consider.

  1. The ability to review phones or devices that have apps at any time.
  2. The understanding that parents can delete or take away applications that are inappropriate.
  3. A monthly review of online and internet safety practices.
  4. Appropriate time limits for children using devices.
  5. If you find that your child is using Fling, please talk to them.

Every week Smarter Parenting reviews an app to help parents. Register with us on our website and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram for updates on upcoming items.