The Brief: imo is a free video chat and messaging app.

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imo

On imo*, users can video chat and exchange text, photo, and video messages. Similar to WhatsApp, imo allows people to communicate over WiFi, without using phone data. With imo, users can communicate with friends and family members overseas without paying rates for international phone calls and texts. The company profits from ad revenue and in-app purchases.

Safety & Privacy

According to the app store, imo is intended for users ages four and up. Risks for younger users including sexting, cyberbullying, and talking to strangers are about the same as they are for any other texting and video chat app. Users must have each other’s phone numbers in order to communicate over imo, but kids could end up talking to someone they don’t know in a group message.

imo’s privacy policy states: “We may use Your Content in a variety of different ways as permitted by our Privacy Policy, including publicly displaying it, reformatting it, incorporating it into reports, collections, marketing materials and other works, creating derivative works, summaries, or aggregations from it, promoting it, distributing it, and allowing others to do the same in connection with their own websites and media platforms.” This means that by using the app, you grant imo permission to use your information and content posted on the app.

To ensure that your kids are using imo safely, make sure that you have conversations with them about general online safety practices, media literacy, and privacy.

*IMO is also a texting abbreviation for “in my opinion.” 

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