What is Wizz and is it appropriate for my children?
Here are 5 FACTS every parent needs to know about Wizz:
#1 Make New Friends
Wizz is an app in the Social Networking Category. It allows users to find/meet new friends by scrolling through a live feed of other users. Once someone peaks your interest in the live feed you can begin messaging back and forth through Wizz. Alternatively, and most commonly, users share their snap or instagram accounts and ask users to add them.
According to the App Store:
Wizz is the most fun and spontaneous way to meet new friends…Wizz is for positive vibes only! If you post inappropriate content, you’ll be automatically banned.
Once you’ve downloaded the Wizz app from the App Store (currently not available on Google Play), you can create an account with either (1) Snapchat account (2) Apple ID or (3) phone number. You are only asked to create a psuedonym for yourself, state your age and declare a gender.
#2 Navigating Wizz
The app’s navigation is very straightforward:
HOME button the bottom takes you back to the feed of live users.
A TEXT BUBBLE at the bottom is where your direct text message communication is found.
WAVING HAND is where you can “make new friends”. Here, you are given the option to DIRECT MESSAGE (and people will reach out to you) or GROUP CHAT (where anyone can join you).
In order to look at another user’s profile or bio you must click on their post in the feed, then on their profile picture. Profiles can include up to 3 pictures (that cycle like snapchat stories) and a bio. If you don’t set a bio, the default is “I’m using Wizz and it’s sleek!”
#3 Terms of Service & Privacy
“You must be 16 years or older and capable in your country of residence of entering into a legally binding agreement to use the Wizz Service.”
Wizz is owned by a French company, and thus the EU requires a minimum age of 16 for use. This said, it allows users younger to create an account.
We do not claim ownership of your User Content, rather you grant us a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free and perpetual license to use, copy, reproduce, distribute, adapt, re-format, modify, publish, translate, license, sub-license and otherwise make available the User Content anywhere and in any form for the purposes of providing the Wizz Service (including allowing users that you give access to any User Content to view and use your User Content).
There are no ads or any money making model whatsoever on Wizz. Therefore, it should be reasonably understood that money is being made of the date they are collecting from each user.
YOU MUST NOT: submit or contribute any User Content that contains nudity or violence or is abusive, threatening, obscene, misleading, untrue or offensive submit or contribute any information or commentary about another person without that person’s permission; (threaten, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person.
This fairly encompassing edict could be why several reviews in the App store vent about being banned from the app “for no apparent reason”. While it is unclear what type of content moderation is occurring on Wizz, it seems that it isn’t always accurate or efficient. We found Group Chat conversations that seem to directly violate their terms of service.
#4 Bored Teens Looking to Hook Up
The general consensus when scrolling through Wizz is that it’s a bunch of bored and desperate high school aged kids. Whether they are desperate for a girlfriend/boyfriend, more followers on Insta or Snap, or for any form of connection, it varies based on what time you are on the app.
App Store reviews validate this perception. One review stated, “It’s a pretty okay app but it’s full with a bunch of horny guys asking for pics.”
Another one said, “I would say I’m not here to date anyone, right after that guys would text me saying I’m pretty, then asking if I send nudes. Then another guy texted, for me to give him where I live. He did a red heart as well, when he asked for my location, I said I’m not telling him, and he said please. He was so desperate.”
#5 Parental Controls & Ratings
App store: 12+
Google play: N/A
Brave Parenting: No, this app is totally unnecessary
There are no parental controls available on Wizz. This and the very nature of random connection and digital communication combine for a perfect recipe of disaster.
At Brave Parenting we always want to encourage teens to make friends and connections as much in person as possible. While it is not impossible to meet a great friend online, apps that require no authenticity or verification from its users are not the likely source of quality friendships.
We believe the app is equally unhealthy for boys and girls. Because the perception of “horny guys asking for pics” is validated both through our own research and user reviews, it is essential that we persistently reinforce how are sons communicate and seek connection with girls. Digital communication of this kind allows for quick words and impulsive requests that lack respect and dignity. Even if you don’t allow your son or daughter to have an app like Wizz, it remains imperatively important to teach (and re-teach) appropriate and respectful communication.