In May of this year, Snap banned two apps from the Snapchat platform which allowed users to send anonymous messages, Yolo and LMK, following a demand filed on behalf of a mother whose son died by suicide after being bullied through messages on apps for many months. In the wake of the Snap ban, another anonymous messaging app called Article has risen up the app store listings as younger Snapchat users searched for a replacement for apps that the company blocked.
Since the news of the ban was known reported More than 80 days ago, the Sendit app had more than 3.5 million installs on iOS and Android, according to app intelligence firm Apptopia.
This is a rapid pace of installs compared to how quickly it grew while Yolo and LMK were active in the market. In the same period before the news was announced, Sendit had only seen 180,000 installations in ios Y AndroidSays Apptopia.
Sendit also received few user reviews before May 11, 2021. But in the days following the ban, “yolo” became the second most used keyword in Sendit user reviews, Apptopia told TechCrunch. Most of these reviews are positive, saying that the app is like “Yolo but better”, for example. In other words, the Snap ban hasn’t eliminated the demand for anonymous Snapchat question-and-answer apps, it just crowned a new app a market leader.
Sendit is currently ranked # 3 among lifestyle apps on Apple’s US app store and has risen to 57th on the app store’s top free apps list. In fact, he jumped three rows overnight from Monday to Tuesday.
Like Yolo and LMK, Sendit also features a popular teen activity on Snapchat, Anonymous questions and answers. The application also includes other Lens games, such as “I’ve never done it”, “This or that”, “Kiss, marry, block” and others.
To be clear, none of these are official Snapchat apps. Instead, they integrate with a suite of tools for third-party developers called Pressure kit, allowing them to create new product experiences that work with the best Snapchat features, such as Stories, Bitmoji, the Snapchat Camera, and more.
Snap says that Snap Kit developers must agree to its Terms of Service, which require apps to prioritize user safety and take action on any reports of abuse. Those guidelines are intended to cover any reports of bullying, harassment, hate speech, or threats that take place on third-party services. Additionally, apps that offer friend search, user-generated content, and anonymous features are supposed to inform Snap about their moderation practices and customer service response times.
However, in practice, as highlighted in the lawsuit, there appears to be an issue with how well those terms are enforced by Snap. The company tells us that it continues to review developers to ensure compliance. It has yet to announce any policy changes as a result of that investigation, but Some kid defenders I’d say anonymous apps should have no place in a teenager’s life.
Even before the Snap lawsuit, apps like Yolo and LMK had raised concerns among child advocates and parents alike. For example, Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, an independent source of media recommendations and tips for families, pointed that out “Anonymity on social media can easily lead teens down a slippery slope of poor decisions.” The organization said that while teenagers will be drawn to the thrill of responding anonymously, perhaps upon learning that someone might have a crush on them, “hiding behind anonymity can also raise hatred and sexual risk-taking. explicit “.
Sendit’s App Store reviews (see photos) indicate that it is indeed happening. (Sendit did not respond to a request for more information about its app operations.)
The tech industry is plagued with anonymous social apps that failed due to problems with cyberbullying. After numerous Teen suicides related to the anonymous platform Ask.fm, its owner IAC sold out toxic property to an asset management company. Other high-profile anonymous app glitches include Secret, which became the home of cyberbullying; Sarahah, which was banned by app stores and then pivoted; Yik Yak, whose the founders went to Square after the app was plagued with cyberbullying; and after school, who was also expelled from the App Store. To date, only anonymous platforms such as Glassdoor and Blind, which focus on workplace talk and career advice, seem to be thriving.
The question for Snap to decide now is not just how it will enforce its terms on anonymous apps, but whether it is worth allowing anonymous apps to operate given their documented dangers and potential tragic as well as legal consequences.
If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or has had thoughts of harming or killing yourself, The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) provides free, confidential, 24-hour support, 7 days a week for people in danger. as well as best practices for professionals and resources to assist in prevention and crisis situations.