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When you ask a couple how they met, it's pretty common for them to answer, "On the internet." So, it's no surprise that online dating has trickled down to teens.

And though most opt for Snapchat or Instagram to widen their social circles, some are curious enough to try one of the many messaging apps that promise to help them "make new friends." While these apps are designed more for casual communication than are the mainstream fee-based dating services such as Match and Ok Cupid, they make it super easy to text, video-chat, and share pics with strangers.

Adult chatting site designed like facebook-31

What parents need to know: You can log in to both Hot or Not and Badoo using email or Facebook.

If you sign up via email, you have to enter a birth date that indicates you're over 18, though there's no verification.

It's also meant for "teens only," but entering a birth date is optional.

When registering, it requires a selfie of you holding up a certain number of fingers, but the profile picture doesn't need to match that photo.

It's also difficult for parents to see what teens are doing in the app, so it's hard to make sure your teen is using it safely. Meet Me: Meet Me's tagline, "Meet, chat, and have fun with new people," says it all. Skout and Meet Me are affiliated, so users can share their profiles between them.

There are several ways to interact with other users: You can chat with locals, watch livestreams (or go live yourself), chat, or use the "Quick" feature to "meet people face-to-face right now." Users can also give each other virtual gifts that cost real money.

Teens can set the age preference of potential matches anywhere from 18 to 80, and most matches during testing were about 50 miles away.

Kik: Part text-messaging app, part social network, Kik gives users the opportunity to talk to both friends and strangers.

If you learn your teen is using dating apps, take the opportunity to talk about using social media safely and responsibly -- and discuss what's out of bounds.

Keep lines of communication open, especially since teens sometimes hide these apps in "vaults" or apps that look harmless (such as a calculator).

When teens 13 and older try to log in to Badoo via Facebook, they can, but the Hot or Not app doesn't allow it.

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