As the scope for video-centered apps is increasing, Bigo Live is becoming increasingly popular because of its unique idea. One of the most downloaded apps on Google’s Android Play Store, Bigo Live is a live streaming app that lets you chat with strangers. The idea behind the app is commendable as it focuses on giving people a way to connect more closely. However, the app has been criticized in recent past for being unsafe for people.
Let’s dig into the reality behind this controversy and understand what is driving the campaign.
What is Bigo Live?
Bigo Live is a video live streaming social network based out of Singapore. The app allows users to do live video streaming and video chat with others. They can also watch the live streams being done by other broadcasters. The video call feature allows one-on-one chats as well as group chats with up to 9 users. The app also provides users with several filters like Snapchat and Instagram that could help in changing the user’s appearance.
Just like other video streaming apps, Bigo Live allows users to comment on a broadcaster’s video while they are live. The comments are also available for everyone to see. The app is free to use. However, can also purchase “beans” that they can use to gift or tip their favorite broadcasters. The broadcasters can then exchange their beans and receive real cash.
The app also adds in some elements of video games and allows users to level up their rank on the app by logging in every day. They can also level up their rank on the application by watching other live streams, sending and receiving bans etc. The higher the rank of the broadcaster, the more people will be able to see their live videos on the platform.
Is it safe to use?
Bigo Live is perfectly safe for users. Some parents and advocates suggest that the app is harmful for teenagers. However, they may not know that Bigo Live has a strict policy because of which users under 18 years of age (or the legal age of the local jurisdiction) are not allowed to register. Not only this, the app uses Artificial Intelligence to verify the age of the user because of which it becomes difficult for younger users to bypass their filters.
Bigo Live doesn’t pose any more threats than any other social media channel like Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook. Teenagers using any and all social media are prone to getting stalked or bullied and they may be easily influenced by what they look at via popular “influencers.” Problems like stalking and bullying that are frequently highlighted as a problem with Bigo Live, can occur on almost any social media channel. The problem is that networks like Facebook can give even more access about a child/teenager’s location, their schools, home address and even phone numbers or family members more than Bigo Live.
The onus is on parents to educate their kids about social media and its proper usage. They must also be taught safe social media practices and must be told about red flags that may help them avoid unpleasant situations on social media platforms.