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Yodel – post anonymously and locally

3 minutes reading time
14-17 years
Social Media
Tool description
Foto: jodel.com

Do you think of folk music from the Alps when you hear “yodel”? Then you’re just off the mark. Yodel is a social media app with the distinction of anonymously sharing text messages with a local community. The name Yodel reflects the basic principle of the social media app: Yodel is used as if something is being called from the mountain to the valley.

In a nutshell:

  • Social media app for iOS and Android
  • Basic version free of charge
  • Yodel PLUS subscription from €5.99/month (as of 05/23)
  • anonymously post texts and photos in a local community
  • Age rating from 12 years (USK) or 16 years(Yodel). Note: The age is specified by users themselves and is not checked during registration.

Local social network

Anyone who wants to sign up for Yodel needs a Google account, an email address or a cell phone number. The app only works with access to the device location. Users register by specifying their gender, age and group characteristics, such as student or trainee.

Yodel offers the following functions:

  • Under “Home” you can find all the contributions, the so-called yodels. A filter sorts the yodels by language, range, popularity and time, if desired.
  • The “Location” option shows all posts within a radius of 10 kilometers around your own GPS location.
  • With the “home function”, contributions from the home location can also be tracked from further away.
  • The “Explore” option offers the possibility to discover posts from a location of choice.
  • Users can join “channels” such as “Entertainment” or “Leisure & Hobbies” or create their own channels.
  • All private chats with other users are collected in the “Inbox”.
  • “Me” provides an overview of one’s community activities.

Yodel offers the usual social media features like hashtags, reactions, emojis and favorites. Some features are only available against purchase of the offer Yodel PLUS , such as certain background colors for the posts or advertising freedom.

Post anonymously

What distinguishes Yodel from other social media services is that there are no profiles, no friends and no followers, and all posts are anonymized. Yodel offers various functions for interacting with each other: users can report inappropriate posts, rate content and collect so-called “karma” points depending on their rating and activities.

Ask questions and tell jokes – without thinking much

“My boyfriend wants to leave me. What should I do?” – “Go a cowboy to the barber. Does he go out, bangs gone”. Many young people are active on Yodel. Young people appreciate the offer because they can post anything that comes into their head without any constraints. From profound questions to funny incidents, everything is included. Here they can find themselves and their interests and can exchange information anonymously and at the same time very personally. Comments and reviews give them recognition and make them feel connected to the local community.

What can be problematic about the offer?

Yodel only works if access to the device location is allowed. Having the GPS signal on the mobile device on all the time has disadvantages for data protection and battery performance. With the help of the location function, the location of Yodel contributions can be tracked to within a few meters with a little effort. Anonymity tempts users to behave inappropriately. Although the posts on Yodel are moderated, they may still include inappropriate content such as nude pictures or hate speech. Love, sex and psychological problems are frequent contents on Yodel.

What does the provider think?

Yodel was founded in 2014 by a student and is based in Germany. The guidelines of the yodel community contain rules for respectful and positive interaction. All reported comments will be checked by moderation, deleted if necessary and karma points will be deducted from the author. Algorithms identify harmful users and block accounts. Admins decide on the length of the suspension and there is a way for the community to contact support. Due to the interaction between users and the in-app purchases, the USK has issued an age rating of 12+ for the app. The app’s terms of use only allow use from the age of 16. There are no settings for child and youth protection.

What should parents pay attention to?

Yodel is not suitable for children and younger teenagers. As with other social networks, users face challenges such as cyberbullying, cybergrooming, and hate speech. For this, young people need a certain degree of maturity and experience in dealing with negative content and unpleasant contacts online. If your child is 16 or older and wants to use Yodel, set up the app together. Your child should indicate his true age, because the content is presorted by gender, age and group. Talk to your child about communication risks online and how to deal with them. Agree with your child on how to use the device location responsibly. You can find out more in this article. Make it clear that your child should not share personal information such as address or name with strangers.

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