(MENAFN- Digital solutions)
Gen Z favorite Yubo remains committed to implementing innovative technology to enhance safety across the social live streaming platform.
In today’s world, it’s hard for parents not to worry about their teens’ online interactions. Fortunately, some social media apps like Yubo are taking steps to strengthen the safety of young users’ profiles. Unlike many other apps, Yubo focuses on authenticity and real-time exchanges, leaving behind the competition for “likes” and reactions. Gen Z users can chat, play games, share their hobbies, and create new friendships online with robust safety features in place to make them feel comfortable.
Here’s a snapshot of how Yubo protects more vulnerable users from unwanted and inappropriate behaviors while interacting online.
User Protection During Live Streams
For example, Yubo is the first platform in the world to implement real-time intervention in online live streaming. The company has blended artificial intelligence (AI) technology and human moderation to develop a system that identifies users who break app rules or put themselves or others at risk. During live streams, this system uses advanced AI filters to take second-by-second screenshots and report inappropriate content to safety specialists, who are monitoring the app 24/7. Yubo classifies inappropriate content as anything that is suggestive or features nudity, partial nudity (including underwear), drug use, weapons, blood, or violence.
Educational and Personalized Safety Features
Yubo has laced its app with educational safety features and personalized modification options that appear in pop-up notifications and alerts if users engage in behaviors that are potentially harmful or inappropriate or if they share personal information. These pop-up notices and alerts encourage users to think carefully before they share sensitive information.
On top of this, Yubo’s Muted Words feature allows users to block specific words, phrases, and emojis on the app. They can block this content from all users or just from those who aren’t on their friends list. This gives users who find specific themes upsetting or triggering the power to control the content they see and the interactions they engage in. This feature has proven especially beneficial in tackling cyberbullying, which increased during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Yubo’s Safety Advisory Board and Other Advisors
Yubo operates a safety advisory board of international online safety experts who offer guidance on the company’s proactive approach to safety. Yubo has worked closely not only with this board over the past three years but also with governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and charities. This collaborative work has seen Yubo further innovate its safety strategies and develop new ways to protect its users.
Responsible Behavior Encouraged by Community Guidelines
Yubo has developed its own unique set of Community Guidelines for anyone who wants to use the app. These rules are intended to prevent the sharing of inappropriate content, including nudity and partial nudity, violence, and hate speech. This aims to ensure Yubo remains a friendly, safe, and inclusive community for all. Every new user must agree to abide by these rules in order to use the platform. Violations are taken seriously, investigated as necessary, and followed by appropriate actions.
Yubo’s Partnership With Yoti
Most recently, Yubo has introduced a brand-new safety feature to safeguard its 60 million young users. The recent article TechCrunch coverage explains, “Many kids know they can lie about their age to gain access to platforms designed for older users, which is how they end up in online spaces that aren’t kid-friendly or that have greater risks associated with their use. Yubo, on the other hand, has been thinking about what the future of social networking should look like for the next generations of users – and not just from a product standpoint but also from a product safety perspective.”
As a result, Yubo has teamed up with London-based digital identity provider Yoti to develop new cutting-edge technology that gives users a secure way to prove their age. For Yubo, this technology allows the app to age verify all of its users so that it can make sure users are the age they say. This will allow Yubo to separate minors and adults into the app’s distinct communities with even more certainty, a feature that makes social media a much safer place for young users. Together, the companies have launched Yubo’s age-verification feature in beta stages for users aged 13 and 14. Yubo’s goal is to age-verify 100 percent of its users successfully by the end of 2022.
A Safe and Secure Age-Verification Process
To make the age verification process simple and easy, Yubo and Yoti have designed this privacy-focused technology that doesn’t require users to provide any personal data or documentation to receive an age estimate. Instead, users take a real-time photo of themselves within the Yubo app. Yoti’s passive liveness algorithm also takes a short video during this process to ensure the image being taken is real and not pulled from Google or another spoofing source. Once Yoti’s age estimation technology has processed the user’s photo and delivered an age estimate, the user can access the app and interact with others in the appropriate age group. Users only need to provide personal information if the technology’s estimated age doesn’t match the age they have provided in their profile during the initial registration process.
Yoti’s proprietary age estimation technology, which iBeta has certified, has improved its accuracy year-over-year and can now verify whether a user is above or below an age category with 98.9 percent accuracy, regardless of age, gender, or skin tone. Yoti has rapidly become a trusted identity platform, and its age-estimation system can gauge the ages of 6- to 12-year-old users within 1.3 years and the ages of 13- to 19-year-old users within 1.5 years.
“Our facial recognition applications are designed to make life simpler and safer for everyone. As a parent with young children, I’m delighted that Yubo has chosen to use YAS [Yoti Age Scan] to help with this vital step to protect young people online. YAS can estimate someone’s age with a high degree of accuracy, and Yoti gives people the chance to verify their age in a private and secure way. Our work with Yubo shows how Yoti’s technology can help make the internet a safer place for young people,” says Robin Tombs, CEO of Yoti.
Yoti has been one of Yubo’s trusted partners since 2019 when Yubo became the first social media app to integrate Yoti’s privacy-friendly technology to verify suspicious accounts. Now, the new age-verification technology has enriched Yubo’s app with another layer of protection for young users – and requires all users to verify their age in order to interact with others.
In fact, social media platform Instagram has recently followed suit, announcing that it has introduced age-verification processes designed to provide users with age-appropriate experiences. Instagram explains, “In 2019, we began asking people to provide their age when signing up for Instagram. Since then, we’ve made this a requirement. Knowing people’s ages allows us to provide appropriate experiences to different age groups, specifically teens.” Included in this strategy is the use of Yoti’s age-verification technology. Similar to Yubo’s process, users can “… choose to upload a video selfie to verify [their] age. If [they] choose this option, [they’ll] see instructions on [their] screen to guide [them]. After [they] take a video selfie, [they] share the image with Yoti, and nothing else. Yoti’s technology estimates [their] age based on [their] facial features and shares that estimate with us. Meta and Yoti then delete the image. The technology cannot recognize [people’s identity] – just [their] age.” Instagram, however, is taking a slow approach to integration, while Yubo will have all users around the globe age-verified by the end of 2022.
Annie Mullins OBE, safety expert, and Yubo advisor shares, “This is an exciting and innovative step for [Yubo to safeguard] young people online, which sets an example to other platforms and highlights Yubo’s commitment and leadership to proactive safety measures and protecting young users.”
The Future of Social Media
Because members of Gen Z are mobile-first communicators, they favor tools that allow for instant transmission. They rely on digital platforms to communicate with one another, which means social media companies need to constantly be on the lookout for new technologies that ensure safe communication among all users. Yubo is proactively taking steps to do just that.
Organizations in a variety of sectors use Yoti’s technologies to verify their identities and credentials, both online and in person. Aside from identity and age verification, these technologies enable document eSigning, authentication, and access management. More than 11 million people around the world have downloaded the free Yoti app, which is available in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, and Polish.
Since its launch in 2015, Yubo has quickly become a leading platform for Generation Z to socialize online. Currently, more than 60 million people in 40 countries use the app, which combines the best of offline interactions with online possibilities. Yubo provides the space and the tools for Gen Z to connect with other people around the world through real-time, one-to-few live stream conversations and to interact as authentically as they would in real life – without any pressure of “likes,” “follows,” or performance. Yubo allows young people to engage in conversations, play games, live stream, and just hang out in a safe virtual environment.