App Review – Rabbit

Threat Level – Moderate 

Rabbit is described as the next generation conferencing app. The idea all began back in February of 2013 with an app for the Mac. A year later they launched their website and included the web based client. By 2015, Rabbit was being noticed and became one of the top video conferencing app while beginning to create their mobile app for phones and tablets. In October of 2015 the app went live on the Apple App Store and continues to pick up momentum. 

So what is Rabbit?
Rabbit is a chat room / video conferencing app that allows its users to share a website in their chat screen so that they can shop together or watch videos such as you tube or Netflix and basically any other website. It is a way to chat and share with the other person while you both viewing the same website in your chat room. Rabbit describes itself as a great way to hang out and watch a movie with your long distance partner. So how does this work? You could basically describe this as a texting app similar to KIK, wechat, or whatsapp with a web browser at the top of your screen. So there is chat room at the bottom and web browser at the top of your screen. It allows chatting while watching whatever is in the web browser at top of screen. You can share your “Rabbitcast” with a quick copy of a link and send to others. 

Once you download Rabbit, it requires you to created an account. Like most apps now you can either use your Facebook account to login or create a username and password with your email address. Once you fill out for login, or click login with Facebook then you are ready to invite others to chat. In my opinion, this app would be great if there was a long distance relationship and you wanted to watch a Netflix series together while chatting about it. As for your children, you would need to monitor the sharing very close. One thing I did notice, Rabbit does not filter adult sites. So anything that has a website can be shared and chatted about in chat room at the same time for multiple chatters to view.

I gave this app a moderate threat level due to the app being able to access any website to share. Monitor this one closely and ask your children what they are sharing while chatting if you allow them to use this app. 

App description – bunny, rabbit, orange, white, white rabbit, white bunny 


App Review – Musical.ly

Threat Level – Moderate

Musical.ly is an app developed by the same named company. Musical.ly is available for mobile markets on App Store, play store and Amazon store. They took an app that was originally generated as a lip sync app to allow you to select songs to sing along with and put a social twist on it.

When you launch the app, similar to other socially connected apps, you are required to either create an account or sign in with your Facebook login. The app will then set your account up with a username. For example @aarony. This username style is similar to Twitter. Once your account is setup, you are ready to record and post your videos. The app allows you to select a song from the library inside the app and then let’s you speed up or slow down as you lip sync and record your song. After your video is made, you can post it to your user page. At this point, others can follow you and like your videos. One thing to remember, the account is created unlocked and you have to change it to private. I figured this out the hard way after I was testing app and made myself a video singing to Lionel Richie (which was pretty bad) and noticed two strangers had already liked my video for some reason. I am not sure who would ever like my rendition of a Lionel Ritchie song, but they did.

The videos after recorded are saved under your page with whatever hashtag you want to make it easier for people to find. As I looked through the videos however, I did noticed there was a lot of people that actually didn’t lip sync songs, they made other kinds of videos. There were several videos trending and one that caught my attention was a hashtag labeled #unicornchallenge. This was a viral video of different kids of videos from around the world doing the unicorn challenge. If you are wondering what this is, the unicorn challenge is when you take an ice cream cone and press it against your forehead. The cone makes what looks like a unicorns horn, hence the name unicorn challenge. Kids have added music to different unicorn challenge videos and are doing it in public at lobbies of fast food restaurants. They’re also other trending hashtags that are in the trending page such as Grammy awards and snowvids (snow videos). While browsing through other people’s videos whether trending or not, I did notice a lot of what appeared to be kids, but did not see any sexually explicit content. The app does have filter for sexual related searches which is great on their part. The company seems to be trying to make a respectable community of video sharers with proper filters for young adults.

One thing to remember about Musical.ly is that the app calls its users ‘Musers’ and will show you top ‘Musers’ of the app. On one of the menu options, it gives the user the top ‘Musers’ list with the top poster getting over 2 million likes. This app is slowly growing as more children find out about it. The popularity is growing daily.

As for the rating, I am going to give a moderate threat level. Most of the posts that were viral were legit hashtags and silly videos like the unicorn challenge. I feel you should still make sure that your child’s account is locked down so that everyone cannot access their videos and also to monitor their social side of app to make sure strangers don’t become obsessed with following every post your child makes. We have to remember as parents to follow our children’s online social life just as close as we do their physical one.

App description – red circle, red and white, white squiggly line, audio line, white red with line, audio, lip sync app



App review- VSCO

Threat Level- Moderate
VSCO is an app developed by a company called Visual Supply Company. It appears this is the only app they currently have running actively on the Apple IOS App Store and Google Play store. They describe their self named app VSCO as the standard of mobile photography. So you are probably asking yourself, what is a picture editing app doing on a social media app review site. Let me explain.

Sometimes apps you find on your child’s devices will be photo or video editing apps. Kids love adding filters to their photos, effects or stickers to their photos before posting them to their favorite social media apps such as Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. We have seen over the years with Instagram and Snapchat the addition of filters inside the app so that the user does not need to use other apps on their phone to add or change the photo such as VSCO offers. This is a popular trend. However we cannot forget about those stand alone apps such as VSCO that have social ties to them. There are other popular photo sharing sites or apps such as photobucket and Imgur, but they offer storage for pics more than many editing features. 

VSCO is a free app available on mobile markets that takes photo editing and storage to the next level. You can identify apps that have social ties versus the ones that don’t usually by the need to create an account when you first launch them. As you will see in VSCO, you are encouraged to login before you use editing features. The wording of this app to encourage an account when you first open it states- 

‘Create and publish your grid, journal and collection- find and follow other creatives in our community.’

This login process that is encouraged and sometimes required on some apps is because they want to give you a great photo editing experience, but want you to save your account online for other people to view. They offer free storage for these photos, but your children need to make sure these pictures are not shared as public. The features inside the app allow for excellent photo editing, exploring other photo editors and the ability to share and follow other people that use VSCO, just make sure they are not sharing public photos of themselves if you find the app on your child’s device. 
Each VSCO account has a link to the users page where all their photos can be shared and viewed. You will see sometimes on Twitter profiles or Instagram profiles a link to the users VSCO account. You will recognize it as a link similar to this 


Of course this is not an my actual VSCO account, but an example of what you will see in users social media profiles linking their VSCO account. I have seen Instagram accounts where the user has done great job on locking their account down to only friends being approved being able to see their photos and then having a link to their VSCO account on their profile page being wide open with hundreds of public pictures just a click away without any approvals. This is what you must watch for and look at on your child’s account. 

I gave this app a moderate threat level due to the social ties of this app. Make sure your child’s VSCO account is not wide open for anyone to pull their photos online. All you have to do is pull up their VSCO account online or follow their link if they have one in their other social media profile pages to see if you can openly view their photos. Openly discuss this app with them and make sure they understand what photos they are sharing and how they are doing it before they get to involved with using this photo editing, social media app. This is a great app for editing, but make sure the social side of sharing is locked. I have seen on several accounts, the user not knowing the account is locked down and it being an innocent error, but innocent errors could lead to your child’s pics being open on the Internet. We do not want our children’s pictures shared publicly. 

App description – white, white app with black lines, graph, black squiggly marks, atom, black lines white background