From the great Axios newsletter:
Child development experts and advocates are urging Facebook to pull the plug on its new messaging app aimed at kids, AP reports:
- “A group letter sent [today] to CEO Mark Zuckerberg argues that younger children — the app is intended for those under 13 — aren’t ready to have social media accounts, navigate the complexities of online relationships or protect their own privacy.”
- “Facebook launched the free Messenger Kids app in December, pitching it as a way for children to chat with family members and parent-approved friends. It doesn’t give kids separate Facebook or Messenger accounts. Rather, the app works as an extension of a parent’s account, and parents get controls such as the ability to decide who their kids can chat with.”
- The letter, signed by psychiatrists, pediatricians, educators and the children’s music singer Raffi Cavoukian: “Messenger Kids is not responding to a need — it is creating one … It appeals primarily to children who otherwise would not have their own social media accounts.”
- Facebook’s response: The app “helps parents and children to chat in a safer way.” Parents are “always in control … [T]here is no advertising in Messenger Kids.”
There’s a whole new generation of children growing up in the digital world. The social-media giant Facebook hopes this is the next wave of users, but are they really interested in having a profile?
Business Insider asked little kids between ages 9 and 11 what they really thought of Facebook. Check out the video here.
New analysis from Experian Marketing Services, a provider of integrated consumer insights, targeting and cross-channel marketing, found that moms with young kids, defined as children under the age of 5, are often more active on social media, more likely to shop using mobile devices and more open to engage with brands across digital touch-points than other segments of moms and consumers at large. The analysis focused on the unique online, mobile and shopping behavior of young moms and offered suggestions for brands looking to expand their reach and relevance with these moms.
Many of the big social networks have decided not to court kids because it’s time consuming and hard to make their services legally compliant for that demographic because of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). But disposable photo messaging service Snapchat is rolling out a kid-targeted platform, SnapKidz, a message-free sandbox that is accessible through the traditional SnapChat app.
Kids can experiment with drawing and taking photos, saving the results onto a phone or tablet. No messages can be sent or received through the platform so everything is local — and COPPA compliant — as SnapChat doesn’t directly access any information from the child.
Although Tablettoddlers isn’t a fan of the SnapChat app for adults, it’s a smart strategy to hook ’em while they’re young so they could be loyal for a long time. In many ways, SnapKidz could be the next generation of children’s social media, and one that manages to toe the line between pleasing kids, parents and government.
@HonestToddler is a Twitter account-turned-book that illustrates the detailed daily inner thoughts of a mischievous toddler. Very, very funny. Highly recommend following. Check out some of the funniest recent tweets:
“Most toddlers use a form of Pinterest 24/7. We call it “imagination.”
“Whining? We prefer the term “verbal falsetto.” Thank you.”
“Just tried dark chocolate. Adults, is it safe to say you’ve forgotten what candy is supposed to taste like?”
Grom Social is for kids aged 16 and under. According to its Twitter page, it’s “A website designed for kids by kids giving them a safe & fun environment to interact in.”
Like other social networks you can use the site to connect and share with friends. In addition, it also includes lots of free content like video games, sports and entertainment news, and tips on how to stay healthy. It even includes tutors to help kids out with school and safety tips for kids who are staying home alone from school. Parents can get involved and create a parental account, available to people over the age of 16, to check up on their kids’ activity on the site.