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It wouldn't be fair to say that adults don't allow their children to use social platforms designed for adults. Ther...
It wouldn't be fair to say that adults don't allow their children to use social platforms designed for adults. There are plenty of kids on Facebook, despite their age. To resolve this issue, a mobile app for children called PopJam has launched in the UK, as The Wall Street Journal notes.
London-based tech enterprise Mind Candy, creator of the popular game Moshi Monsters, envisions this “creative community” as extremely artistic, with little boys and girls doodling, and sharing photos, drawings, and stickers. Kids can also use filters and adjustments to make colourful stamps and paint brushes. The platform is designed for kids aged 7 to 12.
Young users can like and comment on posts, just like they would on Facebook. All of the sharing, replying, and posting happens in a vertical stream similar to the mobile version of Instagram. PopJam has, however, added a feature of its own. In the Discover section, kids can follow popular brands related to TV shows as well as some products. Currently, children can follow Doctor Who, Frozen, Adventure Time, and LEGO, but more education-focused channels are expected on the platform soon.
All of this sound too cute to be true? There are, arguably, the same complex issues at play here as in any social network. Some will argue that being exposed to branded content might distort children's creative worlds. Michael Acton Smith, Mind Candy's founder, claims that the service's focus isn't on getting big brands, and that kids can choose whether to follow brands or not.
Another concerning issue is privacy. Child predators and bullies seem to lurk at the corners of any social platform, but Mind Candy has tried to put such worries at rest. Smith says that children's selfies will not be allowed on the platform, unless they're covered up with virtual stickers. Children are also not allowed to disclose personal information, like last names or addresses. Despite concerns, Mind Candy's privacy practices have proven to be very responsible in the past.
For now, PopJam is available in the UK only. It's a free download for the iPhone, and is coming soon on Android.