What is Spotafriend, is it Tinder for teens and what are the dangers of the teen XYZ app?

SPOTAFRIEND is the new teenage dating app your kids might not have told you they are using.

Here’s what you need to know about the new phenomenon, which has been dubbed Tinder for teens, and if it’s safe for school kids.

What is Spotafriend?

Spotafriend is an app specifically targeted at kids aged 13 to 19, with more than one million users.

However, teens are meant to seek parental permission if under 18 – while iOS and Android app stores both rate the app as appropriate for those 17 or older.

To register for an account – users must enter their username, password, email, gender, birthday, city and area they live in.

Kids can also register with their Facebook accounts. Like Tinder, the app is location-based – and works on a swiping basis to form matches.

The creators claim it is not a dating app, but “the new way to make friends”.

However, blog posts on the site include advice on the biggest turn-offs for girls and guys – as well as tips for asking people out on dates.

What are the risks of Spotafriend?

Spotafriend does have a verification process – meant to vet out older users.

New applicants must send a selfie with a pose Spotafriend has asked for.

However, there are several reports that this doesn’t work. Dating coach Lisa Schmidt, writing for Global Dating Insights, claims that her selfie passed the application process.

She was 42 at the time, and posing as a 15-year-old girl. She later changed her age to 14.

And, speaking to the Herald Sun, leading child psychologist Michael Carr-Gregg called the app an “online playground” for paedophiles.

“One of the unique characteristics of the 13-year-old brain is an inability to predict the consequences of their actions,” Dr Michael added.

“The risk of them meeting someone in real life suddenly is escalated with an app like this. It’s downright dangerous and objectionable for teenagers.”

Meanwhile, the age range is very wide on the app. You probably wouldn’t want your 13-year-old dating an 18-year-old adult – but this app paves the way for these interactions.

While teens can manually change their age – i.e. reducing it from 19 to 14 – after signing up.

Although Spotafriend is more child-friendly than other sites like Tinder, the only way you can really keep your kids safe is by asking to access their accounts.

Spotafriend declined multiple requests to comment from the Herald Sun.

Mike PalmerComment