By Kelly Werthmann
DENVER (CBS4) – It’s been described as “Tinder for teens.” The mobile app Yellow allows young users to make new friends based on swiping.
However, the bright color-named app has a hidden dark side, and experts want to warn parents.
Yellow app users create a profile by syncing their Snapchat accounts, picking an age and gender, uploading a few photos and then they begin connecting.
Like the dating app Tinder, users can swipe right if they see someone they want to connect with or left if they’re not interested. If both users swipe right, the strangers become new digital friends and their Snapchat names are automatically added to their list of contacts.
Basically, the app allows young people to connect with others by way of Snapchat. They can share photos, have live chat conversations, share social media profiles, even video chat.
What’s concerning for some experts is the app lacks an age verification feature.
“There will always be a new app every day with the same dangers,” Pamela Casey, an Alabama prosecutor with a mission of warning parents of risky mobile apps, told CBS This Morning in May.
Although the app says users must be 13 or older to access a Yellow account, it is easy to fake an age using an incorrect birth date.
With no strict age verification process, users could be connecting with anyone of any age.
That has experts, even police in some places around the nation, reminding parents to use extreme caution when deciding if their child should use Yellow.
“A lot of parents don’t realize you can actually go into the iPhone and turn off your child’s ability to even download an app. You can turn off the camera and you can turn off installing,” Casey said.
Kelly Werthmann joined the CBS4 team as the morning reporter in 2012. She now anchors CBS4 Weekend Morning News and covers a variety of stories around the state. Connect with Kelly on Facebook or follow her on Twitter @KellyCBS4.