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Why it's popular: Although there are some friendly interactions on -- Q&As about favorite foods or crushes, for example -- there are lots of mean comments and some creepy sexual posts.
This iffy content is part of the site's appeal for teens.
They can reference teachers and other students, and it's likely that other users will know who they're talking about.
Because it's anonymous, teens can feel free to be totally candid.
Though there are many misconceptions about "online predators," it's true that risky online relationships -- though rare -- more frequently evolve in chat rooms when teens willingly seek out or engage in sexual conversation. For those who simply choose to browse, delivers on that desire.
Here's what you need to know about the anonymous and disappearing-message apps you're likely to find on your kid's phone: Anonymous Apps and Sites On the positive side, going incognito online helps us express ourselves in ways we might not be able to in the real world.
On the negative side, anonymous apps are often riddled with inappropriate content. Ask.fm: A social site that lets kids ask questions and answer those posted by other users -- sometimes anonymously.
When people say, "There's an app for that," they're not kidding -- especially when it comes to connecting with others.
Instead of using only one way to send messages, teens (and adults) are using lots of different apps to share a secret here, stalk a crush there, or post a selfie anywhere.
What parents need to know: : As with other messaging apps, Kik lets you send texts, pictures, and video.