Saturday, October 10, 2015

Social Media - Instagram for kids? - a mindwrap








Unwrapping Instagram...


All kids love to be in photos and to share those photos with family and friends is such a cool thing to do.  Instagram lets you add fabulous effects and captions to both your photos and videos and lets you easily share them across many social media platforms.  Kids can add borders, add blurring and brightness and really get their imaginations pumping.  

But is Instagram really where you want your child spending his/her time?  If you take a few minutes to check it out you will find a lot of racy content on it. The terms specify that users should be at least 13 years old and should not post questionable, inappropriate content.  Photos there are public and may have location information unless privacy settings are adjusted.  Instagram Direct allows users to send private photos directly to other users. "Tinder" users can access other "Tinder" users' Instagram feeds directly from within the "Tinder" app, even on private Instagram feeds if "Tinder" integratrion is enabled.  

One of the biggest drawbacks of Instagram is the instant feedback you can get.  Collecting a large number of followers...flattering comments...is a badge of honour for some.  One the other hand, negative comments can be really hurtful.  If your child uses Instagram, make sure she knows how to comment respectfully and deal with haters.



Unwrapping kid alternatives...










THIS IS KUDDLE, THE INSTAGRAM FOR KIDS

THE NORWAY-BASED STARTUP JUST RAISED $2 MILLION IN FUNDING.




Did you know that there is an Instagram for kids? It's called Kuddle, and the photo-sharing application was designed by developers in Norway who built the thing with the noblest of intentions. It's designed, first and foremost, to teach kids manners and discourage online bullying.
Investors seem to be keen on the idea, too. Reuters reports that the company raised $2 million in funding recently and is about to raise $8 million more, the bulk of which will be used to make a major push in the United States market before the year's end. By that time it could exceed upward of a million users.




When you first join you only have one friend: Someone named Kodi Kuddle—apparently the service's version of MySpace Tom—who by the looks of it has a natural knack for photography. 



Posting a photo is easy, and you can scribble on your creations just like you can in Snapchat. And while you can write captions for your posts, you can't leave comments. (Remember: Comments are where bullies hang out.) Likes are anonymized, and other users must confirm your friend request before you can view their photos.
Yes, Kuddle wants to teach our kids how to use social media while preserving their basic human decency, but it does so by stripping out all the aspects that make something like Instagram inherently social. What does that say about us? Your guess is as good as mine!
"We are very happy with the growth so far," founder and chairwoman Kathryn Baker tells Reuters. "We have had an average daily growth of 10 to 15 percent and the uptake has been great."
The major difference between Kuddle and other photo-sharing apps is it's heavily fortified with built-in safeguards. Not just anyone can sign up: When you first create your login, you're prompted to provide the name and email of a parent or guardian over 18, who can monitor your activity. (Hi, Rose!) Until they register, none of your photos are visible.
When you first join you only have one friend: Someone named Kodi Kuddle—apparently the service's version of MySpace Tom—who by the looks of it has a natural knack for photography. (See above.)
Posting a photo is easy, and you can scribble on your creations just like you can in Snapchat. And while you can write captions for your posts, you can't leave comments. (Remember: Comments are where bullies hang out.) Likes are anonymized, and other users must confirm your friend request before you can view their photos.
Yes, Kuddle wants to teach our kids how to use social media while preserving their basic human decency, but it does so by stripping out all the aspects that make something like Instagram inherently social. What does that say about us? Your guess is as good as mine!








London-based tech company Mind Candy wants to become the go-to social network for kids aged 7-12, with a new service called PopJamthat launches today.
PopJam is described by Mind Candy as "a creative community for kids," and sees youngsters cooking up artistic "creations" using stickers, doodles and photos that can then be shared online. Like photo-sharing app Instagram, young users will be able to follow friends or other users, as well as like, share and draw responses to creations they encounter.
London-based Mind Candy -- founded by entrepreneur Michael Acton-Smith in 2004 -- is best known for creating the Moshi Monsters franchise, which began as a social site where youngsters could adopt a virtual pet, interact with other users and take part in puzzles to earn virtual currency. Last year Moshi Monsters hit the 80 million registered users milestones, and the site's popularity has spawned a range of toys, magazines and videogames.


PopJam has, in fact, existed on the iOS and Android app stores for a few months now, under the name "JellyChat." Today sees the formal launch of the final product, however. In a blog post to be published today, Acton Smith says the social network will let kids follow brands, authors, bands and games, but will also host "a large amount" of educational activities.
Safety first
Any online service aimed at children will rightly come under scrutiny in terms of how safe it is for its users. CNET spoke to Laura Higgins, helpline manager at the UK Safer Internet Centre, who said that Mind Candy's approach to child safety online had in the past been "very, very responsible."

"Child protection is at the heart of what they do," Higgins said, noting that the British tech firm has "great moderation processes."
"They generally are seen to be one of the better organisations when it comes to these issues," Higgins said, noting that although she hadn't had a chance to use PopJam yet, good advice for parents is to try out kids' apps for themselves. "As with any app," Higgins said, "if you're going to download something your children will be playing with, go and familiarise yourself, look around, have a play."
Describing PopJam as a "walled-garden where kids can be kids," Mind Candy founder Acton Smith said, "We feel very strongly that without a viable community designed for this younger demographic, kids under 13 will continue using apps designed for over 13 year olds like Instagram, SnapChat and Tumblr."


I hope today's wrap has been helpful.  In this world of technology it is very easy for your child to get involved in things that look fun and cool but can expose them to things that are not age appropriate.  It is our duty as parents to see that they are  well educated, tech savvy but also protected as much as possible.  Check out the above apps and let me know what you think.  I'd love your feedback on them.  Have an amazing day and see you back here on Storywraps on Monday.  If you are a fellow Canadian....Happy Thanksgiving to you!  Gobble! Gobble! Eat lots and enjoy the holiday.   :-)




Read on and read always!



It's a wrap.



Contact me at storywrapsblog@gmail.com

Post a Comment