Yarn – Chat Fiction App (Rated 17+, Books, Entertainment)

Yarn is an entertainment app that lets users read through fictional text message conversations, often including images and videos. It requires a subscription plan to view the generated stories from multiple genres including romance and horror.

Why is this app so popular with teens?

It Mimics A Taboo Experience
It provides a sandbox environment for teens to experience conversations that are most usually taboo for children of this age or require them to snoop into others’ private conversations to see.
You Can Share Stories With Friends
Teens can share stories they liked with friends directly from the app by sending a link to the story. This adds a gossip-like dynamic to the app’s experience and increases its replay value.

Parental Controls

The Yarn App does not feature parental controls.

Potential Problems

In-App Purchasing
Although the Yarn App is marketed as free, there is a very limited amount of content that is viewable without purchasing a subscription. Subscriptions range from weekly to yearly.
Adult/Inappropriate content
A large majority of the stories are filled with highly suggestive sexual written content and can be violent in nature. Some stories feature images containing nudity, while others depict frightening imagery (i.e., ghosts, paranormal entities, etc.).


Due to the graphic nature of the content on this app, I recommend parents NOT ALLOW their child to have this app on their device. Teens can easily internalize the scenarios as exhilarating, dismissing the dangers that accompany these situations in reality, such as home break-ins and abusive relationships.

Additional Recommendations

Talk to Your Child About Real Life Dangers
Talking with your child about the consequences of real-life decisions and threats can help address the difference in how they are portrayed as attractive or thrilling in an entertainment setting. It is important for them to keep in mind the necessity of being aware of real threats to their safety. Limiting their exposure to sources that encourage a fantastical or appealing outlook to these kinds of situations can help.

Monitor, Alert, and Protect with Bark

You can utilize Bark, the best parental control and notification app for mobile devices, to monitor your child’s app activity. When installing, use the promo code “cybersafetycop” to get 15% off the entire duration of your subscription!

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About the Author

Clayton Cranford
Clayton Cranford is a retired Sergeant from Orange County Sheriff's Department in California and owner of Total Safety Solutions LLC. Clayton is one of the nation’s leading law enforcement educators on social media, child safety, and behavioral threat assessments. Clayton is the author of the definitive book on cyber safety for families, “Parenting in the Digital World.” Clayton has more than 20 years of teaching experience and was awarded the 2015 National Bullying Prevention Award from the School Safety Advocacy Council, and the 2015 American Legion Medal of Merit. Clayton was a member of the County's Behavioral Threat Assessment Team, Crisis Negotiation Team, School Resource Officer program, and Juvenile Bureau.