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Likee – what’s behind the TikTok alternative?

3 minutes reading time
6-17 years
Social Media
Tool description
Quelle: wikimedia.org

With Likee, similar to TikTok videos can be created and shared. The more than 2,000 filters and effects inspire young people in particular. But what else is behind the app and what are the risks?

In a nutshell:

  • free app for iOS and Android
  • Age rating according to AGB from 16 years
  • Cost traps due to in-app purchases
  • Lack of data protection and communication risks

What can it do?

Likee is a social media platform where short video clips can be easily created, shared, liked and commented. Uploaded videos are visible on your own profile and on public leaderboards. Users can send each other messages via Likee and give each other gifts. The gifts must be purchased beforehand. A livestream function allows people to film themselves and others to like or comment while they do so.

To register with Likee, you either have to link to an existing account, e.g. on Facebook, or enter your own cell phone number. The app thus has quick access to the person’s contacts and suggests them as potential friends. To use the app in all its functions, the camera and microphone have to be enabled. Likee additionally wants to access the location. This will display videos of people in the vicinity. A person’s location can also be seen when the associated profile is clicked.

What fascinates children/youth about it?

On Likee, users can find entertaining, funny and inspiring videos on a wide range of topics. Teens can get creative with the app and make cool videos without needing much prior knowledge. Especially the FaceFilter of the app are fun for young users.

What can be problematic about the offer?

On Likee, users sometimes provide personal insights when they post videos or start livestreams. By sharing locations and sending messages, (children and) young people can fall victim to cybergrooming or cyberstalking. Other communication risks as well such as Hate Speech can play a role by commenting on videos sending messages. The uploaded videos are also not content controlled, so some of the content shown may not be suitable for children.

Officially, unrestricted access to the app is only approved for ages 16 and up. However, the age of the persons is not controlled.

The handling of user data by the provider must be viewed critically, since by accepting the terms and conditions users cede their rights to the videos created. The data is stored and collected in Singapore. Personal data such as hometown, location and search history may be shared with third parties, e.g. for advertising purposes. For the face filters, the app also saves the facial features of the people.

Using the fictional currency, so-called beans, additional effects can be unlocked or gifts can be sent to other people. Beans are available via in-app purchases.

The app is based on a reward system in which users climb up the rankings and get additional features unlocked if they are particularly active and receive many clicks and likes. This can encourage excessive use of the app.

What does the provider think?

The app comes from JOYY, a provider from Singapore. The provider does provide a parental control feature and a restricted mode for children under 16, but these features are difficult to find and activate. JOYY absolves itself from reviewing content shared through the app. A deletion of the data can be requested via the help and feedback function. However, the guarantee of complete deletion is not given.

What should parents pay attention to?

There is always a risk of having unpleasant experiences online via apps that enable exchanges with other people. Therefore, your child should know about it and know strategies to deal with it or avoid certain risks. In our article “Legal notices of social media use” you will get the most important information about this.

Should your child Likee want to install, be sure to do it together. This way you can make sure that your child is giving the correct age. Children under 16 use the app in restricted mode. Direct messaging, in-app purchases, and live video sharing are thus no longer possible. Additionally, turn off the location sharing. Show your child the help section of the app and how they can report content and people there. Offer to be there to help your child. Also, educate your child about data protection and privacy and agree, for example, on what content may be shared and how much may be disclosed. Despite these safety precautions, the app is not safe for children. A suitable, child-friendly alternative is e.g. knipsclub.de

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