What Is Marco Polo?
Marco Polo is a video messaging app and video hosting service created by Joya Communications, Inc. It has a 3.9+ store rating with millions of users. You can download the app from Google Play or App Store.
The Marco Polo app is often regarded as a video walkie-talkie or Snapchat for older people. It works like Snapchat only the videos shared don’t self-destruct. Marco Polo offers an easy-to-use platform where one can instantly get in touch with friends through video messages. Strangers can’t easily contact you as they must obtain your phone number first before being able to do so. With this, the app is kid and family-friendly.
Marco Polo Parental Controls
The Marco Polo app usability is quite similar yet has distinct differences from competing apps. Users can send videos and text messages which can then be watched by the receiver in their own time. It’s like video chatting but with a twist. There will always be a risk of exposure to inappropriate content in apps like this. In the case of Marco Polo, such risk is greatly reduced with contact being limited to those included in the user’s contact list and the various parental controls they offer.
Sign-Up For Your Child
Marco Polo is meant for users 13-years-old and above. As a first step in setting up parental controls, create an account sign up for your child. You can use your own information, including phone number and email address to closely monitor their activities and contacts on the app.
Do Not Allow Access To Contacts
Since exposure is dependent on the contact list, skip the request to Access Contacts. This will also prevent the app from bombarding everyone in your contacts with notifications.
Block A User
If you see any messages or videos sent to your child that are inappropriate, you can block the user. This is also useful in case, for some reason, a stranger or someone dangerous finds their way into your child’s contact list. Simply tap the three dots next to the user’s chat title then tap Block/Delete Chat.
Prevent In-App Purchases
The free version of the app is great as it is. Your child, however, may be tempted to avail of a subscription for access to additional features. Prevent in-app purchases by going to Settings then Screen Time. Select Content and Privacy Restrictions → iTunes and App Store Purchases → Set In-app Purchases to “Don’t Allow”.
Keeping Kids Safe On Marco Polo
Marco Polo’s terms of service indicate that users need to be at least 13-year- old. Common Sense Media, however, doesn’t recommend the app to users below 18. Overall, with its various built-in parental controls, Marco Polo is safe to use but like other social media platforms, it doesn’t guarantee 100% safety and security. Hence, be sure to take precautionary measures and enable Marco Polo parental controls.
Frequently Asked Questions About Marco Polo App Parental Controls & Safety
Can you use the Marco Polo app without a phone number?
No. A Marco Polo account must be linked to an active phone number and the app won’t allow you to contact someone you don’t have a phone number for. This is one of the safety features in place to prevent strangers from easily contacting you.
Does the Marco Polo app track your location?
One of Marco Polo’s features is to enable users to easily find each other. If you’ve planned to meet up with a friend, for instance, you can simply hit the Marco button to show your location’s pin instead of texting back and forth. The location information, however, won’t be shared without your permission or without you initiating the disclosure.
Can you delete a Marco Polo video before someone sees it?
If you’re fast enough, you can delete a Marco Polo video you’ve sent before the recipient sees it. Simply tap and hold on to the video until the menu pops up, then click on Delete. Once someone sees the video, you can still delete it but you can’t completely recall it.
Does the Marco Polo app use a lot of data?
While Marco Polo enables you to save phone storage, it could use much data. After all, you’ll be sending or watching videos most of the time. Such files eat up more data than plain texts or even images.