Yellow is available for both the iPhone and Android devices and bills itself as a “free way to make new chat friends.”

Just like Tinder, Yellow lets its users swipe right and left to either like or pass on another user and, if there’s a match, they can begin chatting. What’s more, you can then add that person as a contact on Snapchat and send them photos or videos.

Yellow App
Yellow App (Photo: Yellow)

Tinder sets its minimum age at 18 and specifically sells itself as a dating app . However, Yellow has no checks in place that verifies the age of its users.

The company said that the app prevents underage users from discovering people over the age of 18, and vice versa. But this can be circumvented by simply creating an account with a date of birth making the user under 18.

Only a small warning on the App Store states: “You must be at least 17 years old to download this application.” Similarly, buried in the small print of the Google Play store is a PEGI 18 content rating warning.

“Any app that allows strangers to send photos to children or vice versa is troubling – particularly where the images being exchanged are of a sexual nature,” said a spokesperson for the NSPCC.

“Yellow’s settings that enable adults to view children, through a service blatantly aimed at flirting and relationships, also creates an opportunity for sexual predators to target young people. This needs to be urgently addressed.

Teenage girl lying on white couch and using smart phone

“We want age verification measures in the Digital Economy Bill that will stop under-18s accessing porn websites to be extended to cover social networking platforms.

“This would mean adults would not be able to pose as children or vice versa, and any operator that failed to comply could face fines or be blocked from operating in the UK.

“We would urge parents to have a conversation with their children so that they know how to stay safe online.”

The comments were echoed by other security experts, who suggested ways for parents to help protect their kids.

NSPCC warns app 'Yellow' is putting young people at risk
NSPCC warns app ‘Yellow’ is putting young people at risk (Photo: Yellow)

“As a father of two teenagers myself, I understand the pressures parents face to protect their children from potential online dangers,” said Pete Turner, a consumer security expert at Avast, an antivirus company.

“It’s impossible (and not very cool) to follow your child on every new social channel or seek to limit their online interactions.

“While you can’t police their online lives, there are three simple steps you can take to help your children stay safe online.

“Firstly, use the available tools that can help protect them remotely – a good security product will block unsafe web links, dangerous email attachments and stop viruses and malware.

“Secondly, if you haven’t already, set your parental controls to prevent your children accessing inappropriate content online.

“Finally, and for me, most importantly, encourage open and honest discussions with your kids about the risks of not playing safe online. This will empower them to behave responsibly and ensure they know they can come to you if they have any questions or concerns.”

Two teenage girls on picnic blanket looking at mobile phones
Two teenage girls on picnic blanket looking at mobile phones (Photo: Getty)

Yellow’s developers responded to the concerns by saying it would be updating its app.

“We have identified the problem of changing the date of birth in the app, and we are currently working on a solution for that problem,” they said.

“In the new app, which will be available in a few days, any user wanting to edit a new date of birth, will have to send proof of ID to our customer service so as to avoid this kind of situations.”

But the developers maintained they would not verify ages on sign-up.

Teenage Girl Using Mobile Phone
(Photo: Rex)

“Yellow is a virtual social network and not a location-based dating app. Underage users cannot discover people over 18 and vice versa,” the company told The Times .

“In any case, users can only chat with text messages – it’s not possible to send pictures within Yellow. Users can report profiles that seem to have a fake identity, fake pictures, inappropriate content or who lie about their date of birth.”

Yellow is surging in popularity with users who already have a huge number of chat-based apps to choose from.