It may not be completely appropriate for you young children to have Facebook or SnapChat, but there’s a new social media app in time and it’s just for your kiddos. Kuddle is a free app that lets little ones share photos in a safe environment and connect with their friends online.
The platform is similar in design to Instagram, where you have an image gallery and a scrolling newsfeed of all your friends’ recent snaps. All you do is take a cool photo, then choose to draw on ‘em and/or add a caption, then upload it to your profile by answering a question about cyber bullying. Unlike Instagram, though, there is no such thing as “followers.” Instead, users can request to be friends with each other, creating an environment without status or exclusivity. Also, kiddos will not be able to delete friends that they’ve already accepted.
One of Kuddle’s main goals is to teach children proper online behavior. Features that prevent cyber bullying are prohibiting image comments, tagging users and making all photo “likes” anonymous. The folks over at Kuddle moderate the content, making sure everything is age-approps, but they also give parents access to regulate their child’s profile. Another feature that helps to teach responsibility is that all profiles are associated with the child’s full name — no hiding behind usernames (like iLuvDogz899 or KoolKid9). To protect your kid’s location, Kuddle doesn’t allow geotags and, everyone has a private profile that only accepted friends will have access to.
This isn’t the first time we’ve come across a company trying to integrate youngsters with technology. Just this year, Google announced that they are creating a YouTube for kids and plan to offer Google accounts to children under 13. While we think Kuddle is a great alternative to the social media apps we use as adults, we can’t help but wonder why it’s necessary. Do children really need to be involved in social media at such a young age? When we were kids, we didn’t have cell phones or Skype chats with our friends — we had play dates and built stick forts. When our parents were little, they didn’t even have television to stimulate them — they went outside and played with the neighbors. We hope that all of these advances in technology (and in this case, social media) don’t prevent kids from being kids.
Where do you stand on this issue? Talk it out in the comments below!