YouNow is a streaming service that allows videos to be transmitted to the Internet in real time without much effort. Users only need a computer with Internet access and webcam or a smartphone with camera and the YouNow app. Viewers can enter comments or questions in a chat window. These can be responded to directly. To stream a live video on YouNow yourself, you have to sign up beforehand. Public streams of others can be viewed and commented on without registration.
Young people are particularly fascinated by the simplicity of YouNow. Wherever their smartphone is, they can start or watch a livestream. This gives them an easy way to communicate to others and test their impact. In addition, YouNow is a platform where mainly young people hang out.
Especially the live broadcast on YouNow can be problematic. Children and young people may carelessly disclose content that does not belong on the Internet. Especially personal data such as address, name, telephone number or the name of the school can be misused by – in this case anonymous – viewers. But also insults or bullying are possible through the comments and in the chat on YouNow. The personal rights of third parties may also be affected if, for example, persons shown in the background have not been asked for permission.
If music is playing in the background when streaming, it is usually copyrighted and may not be heard in the video without paying royalties.
In-app purchases can also be a problem: YouNow offers the purchase of so-called “bars” (gold bars), which can be used to give gifts (“premium gifts”) to streamers and users.
Since no login is required to watch streams and viewers are not visible, there is a risk of unwanted contact by strangers. The consequence could be cybergrooming.
Anyone can post videos on YouNow, so there is a risk of content harmful to minors, even if the provider tries to prevent depictions of violence, self-harm, etc.
As with any provider, users must adhere to internal platform regulations. The use of YouNow is only permitted to young people over the age of 13. Minors are forbidden to expose themselves in front of the camera. Generally prohibited is vulgar or hurtful language. A reporting and blocking system is to ensure that problematic incidents on YouNow are punished. However, control is extremely difficult due to the large number of livestreams and the real-time nature of the offer. The age of the users can also hardly be controlled.
Since there are some risks involved in using YouNow, you should always keep in touch with your child to know what apps they are using and websites they are visiting. Let them see what interests them from certain media, but also make your child aware of possible dangers and problems. Familiarize yourself with YouNow ‘s security settings together and use them. A guide is provided by klicksafe. You can disable the possibility of in-app purchases by making appropriate settings in the smartphone’s operating system.
It is not advisable for younger children to use YouNow. Explain this to your child if they show interest in the platform. Additionally, technical means can ensure that the page cannot be accessed. Use protective measures such as settings in the operating system and the installation of a parental control program. Show your child child-friendly alternatives such as kindersache.de.