By Evyn Batie
In the aftermath of the Uvalde shooting, Yubo, previously called Yellow, has been thrust into the public spotlight as the social media platform used by the shooter. News articles about the tragedy have noted that the shooter was active on the platform and even sent pictures of his guns to other users he was messaging.
So what is this app?
Yubo combines livestream video, messaging features and dating app-esque swiping that helps users connect with others all over the world. It has previously been dubbed “Tinder for teens” as the sharing and swiping features mimic the popular adult dating site.
Yubo has around 60 million users, 99% of whom are between the ages of 13 and 25. The platform is quite small compared to other popular Gen Z platforms like TikTok and Instagram, both of which boast over a billion active users while the popular messaging app Snapchat has around 332 million users daily. Yubo’s small user base has kept it out of the public eye until now, but it is difficult to predict its popularity or unpopularity going forward.
In light of the tragedy, it feels easy to attribute the horrors of the world to social media platforms. However, social media is only one factor in a much larger situation.
In a world full of negative messages, bullying, mental health crises, and gun violence, the best thing a parent can do is know their child. Have honest conversations about social media and the people they are chatting with. Have these conversations before they are talking to someone risky. Have them early, often and openly.
Evyn Batie is a recent graduate from Metropolitan State University and youth advisor for SE2. Evyn is also employed with a nonprofit after-school program.