Emerging social media website Kik has drawn a warning from police in New South Wales who have described the platform as ''the number one social media problem involving teenagers''.
The warning follows the recent disappearance of 14 year old Krystal Muhieddine, who was apparently kidnapped on Tuesday before being recovered on Friday.
Her parents said she had been groomed via Kik by her abductor.
The Kik app is currently used by 50 million people, considerably less than the 288 miullion said to be using Twitter actively.
However, conversations cannot be viewed publicly.
New South Wales police said Kik was being used by paedophiles who were ''taking advantage of that hidden communication''.
''It's hidden to most parents,” said NSW Police spokesman Strath Gordon.
''Young people may not even know who they are communicating with. No one is using their real names and that's a problem …''
Online safety consultant Martine Oglethorpe said that younger users were moving on to private social media platforms to avoid parental scrutiny.