Everloop: Goobit

 

Learning(i)

Mobile version of tween social network; parents can monitor.

What parents need to know

Ease of play

Very easy to use. The app is set up much like Facebook, but with fewer ads and fewer choices. Kids can clearly see what is their news feed versus their loops and how to post only to the loops they choose. Rules of conduct are clearly established: "Be cool, be clean, be confidential" means no bullying, no profanity or inappropriate content, and no sharing personal information. Whether all users will follow these rules and the filters as membership increases remains to be seen.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex

Some kids post about how "cute" and "romantic" certain movie and pop stars are. Some comments are signed "love."

Language

The word "sucks" is apparently allowed by the Everloop: Goobit filter. Otherwise, kids seem to follow the no foul language rule and/or the filter omits swear words. Kids and parents can flag comments by tapping the flag icon. A message when kids tap the flag icon reads, "Flag this post if it contains inappropriate content and our moderators will take care of it."

Consumerism

Even though it's billed as "free," parents must use their credit card and make a $1 purchase (which is credited to Evercredits for their kid's account) or provide the last four digits of their Social Security number to verify their kid's account. The Everloop: Goobit app and Everloop website are free, but to purchase "Evercredits" for items and features on the app and website, users need to pay from $5 to $50. Kids are encouraged to send an email written by Everloop to their parents that states: "I would love to have (see pull down menu with 100, 500, 3000, 5000) Evercredits." Third-party ads are sprinkled throughout the app and website in many subtle and not-so-subtle ways.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Usernames go through a privacy and profanity filter. The app warns kids not to give out any identifiable information when they sign up for an account; however, it does seem like users can still ask others for such information, including: "What school do you go to?" and "How old are you?" Comments can be flagged. Kids can choose which of their "loops" (groups) they want each of their posts to go to, so they aren't distributed to all of the people they friend on the social network. The social network's legal terms state that no one over 15 should use this site (other than parents, and then parents should access only the parent account features). Parents can monitor kids' activities.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Everloop: Goobit is the app counterpart to the kids' social networking website Everloop, intended for kids ages 8-15. Privacy and behavior rules are clearly established when kids sign up for an account: "Be cool, be clean, be confidential," meaning no bullying, no profanity or inappropriate content, and no sharing personal information. Even though the app and website are both geared toward the needs of first-time, young social network users, no social network's safety measures and profanity filters are foolproof, so parents should use Everloop's parent account to keep tabs on their kids' activity.

What kids can learn

Skills

Communication

  • friendship building

Responsibility & Ethics

  • following codes of conduct

Tech Skills

  • social media

What Kids Can Learn

Everloop: Goobit wasn't created with educational intent, and we don't recommend it for learning. However, with a few instructional additions, this app has the potential for helping kids learn about and take some first steps into the world of safe, appropriate social networking and media fun. Kids could learn how to follow codes of conduct, post content appropriately, and build safe friendships online.

What kids can learn

Skills

Communication

  • friendship building

Responsibility & Ethics

  • following codes of conduct

Tech Skills

  • social media

Everloop: Goobit wasn't created with educational intent, and we don't recommend it for learning. However, with a few instructional additions, this app has the potential for helping kids learn about and take some first steps into the world of safe, appropriate social networking and media fun. Kids could learn how to follow codes of conduct, post content appropriately, and build safe friendships online.

This Learning Rating review was written by Dana Villamagna

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What's it about?

Kids need to sign up for an Everloop account (and parents must approve) to have access to all the features on the EVERLOOP: GOOBIT app. Then they can join Loops (such as music, movies, or sports groups), post comments, videos, photos, and send Goobs (virtual practical jokes) to their friends. The Goobs, such as whoopee cushions or food throwing, are delivered to their friends' mobile devices screen when they login to their Everloop: Goobit account. Some features and games require purchasing Evercredits with real money via credit card.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Everloop: Goobit bills itself as "the first social app only for kids," and it goes to great lengths to outline appropriate online behavior when kids sign up for an account. Kids would benefit from more reinforcement of these guidelines throughout the app now and again, as it can take a while for the ideas to sink in and become part of the culture of a social network.

At the time of this review, Everloop: Goobit is a very new app (there's around 200,000 Everloop members and only 758 members are using the app so far), so it will take a while to see how well the privacy and safety rules and the profanity filter work and how the culture of this social network develops. It could either be a very fun, meaningful first foray into social networking for kids, or not.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Price:Free
Pricing structure:Free
Release date:November 9, 2012
Category:Social Networking
Size:5.60 MB
Publisher:Everloop
Version:1.3
Minimum software requirements:iOS 4.3 or later

This review of Everloop: Goobit was written by

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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