Back in 2012, YOLO just meant “you only live once.” Now, the acronym is also the name of one of the most popular social media apps available for download. When YOLO launched, it rose to the number one spot in US app stores in its first week. So what’s all the hype about? One word: anonymity. Here’s what parents need to know about YOLO.
YOLO is an anonymous question and answer app that uses Snapchat‘s platform. With it, users can post a question to their Snapchat Story and receive responses without knowing who sent what. While users can create a custom Q&A, YOLO also has its fair share of suggested questions, like “Tell me something I should know,” “What obvious hint did I miss from you?” “Who is the most likely to date me?” or “What is your most creative way to cheat on an exam?”
YOLO recently added a new group chat feature to encourage more interaction between users. The app’s creators also decided to add their own special twist. In YOLO’s group chats, users can unleash an anonymous “Superpower” once every hour. A user can send a secret message in the chat, proclaim their love for their crush, or submit an idea without exposing who typed it out and hit send.
“The limits of Q&A is that it doesn’t generate real conversation,” YOLO co-founder Greg Henrion told Tech Crunch. “It’s an ice breaker, but we also want conversations to happen.”
Like its Q&A predecessor Sarahah, YOLO’s anonymous format also allows users to send hateful messages without exposing their identities. But YOLO’s creators have taken note of this, and they’re using the $8 million they just raised to make YOLO safer and less of a cyberbully haven.
When YOLO first launched, the app blocked 10% of overall messages containing offensive content. In fact, the app warns first-time users that “YOLO has no tolerance for objectionable content or abusive users” and that any “inappropriate usage” will result in getting “banned” from the app.
Currently, YOLO has no parental controls available. However, in service of user safety, YOLO has recently teamed up with Snapchat to create a feature that prevents the recommendation of chats between adults and minors. The update is expected to be available soon.