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