Jezter

App review by
Christy Matte, Common Sense Media
Jezter App Poster Image
"Digital babysitter" curates content with ads, links.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Some of the videos have educational content covering everything from science and technology to historical figures.

Ease of Play

Easy navigation for kids. Parents could use a tutorial or feature overview.

Violence

Games and videos with mild violence (Lego TV shows, endless run games, etc.). Parents can create playlists and choose which videos to include.

Sex

Parents will want to curate content, as some ads are present that include scantily clad women and suggestive headlines. 

Language
Consumerism

There are no ads on the app interface itself, but some of the videos connect to outside sites that use banner ads. A few of the ebooks are samples that link to Amazon to purchase the full portion. No parent gate once kids are in the content.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Jezter claims to be "The World's First Digital Babysitter," but with external links to sites with pop-up and banner ads, as well as book samples that link directly to Amazon for purchases, many parents may disagree. While it's possible to create custom playlists on the parent profile which lock kids into parent-curated content, the content is spotty enough that parents will want to preview content before adding it to playlists to rule out external links, ads (especially suggestive or otherwise inappropriate ads), and so on. So while the app is meant for younger kids, the ads and links make it inappropriate for little kids. Read the app's privacy policy to find out about the information collected and shared.

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What's it about?

JEZTER is meant to be a one-stop entertainment spot for kids on their device. Adults set up a parent account where they can create playlists of any length, including videos, ebooks, and some simple games. Once they press play, the app locks into that playlist and requires a pin to exit. There's also a kid account, which has open access to all of the content with no controls or limits. With a filter, parents and kids can sort content by age bands: 2-5, 5-8, 8-11. The media is broken out into categories and includes a range of interests including popular cartoons, animal videos, history, science, and technology. 

Is it any good?

Claiming to provide "safe, curated content" for kids and then including media with pop-up advertising and external links to shopping sites is a fail. Jezter sets the bar high for itself ... and doesn't follow through. Yes, there's some fantastic content, but most of it is readily available on other, similar apps. Giving kids a sample of an ebook that links back to Amazon (as an example) doesn't fulfill the promise of the safe, contained environment. It also seems counterintuitive that the parent portal is the one with the controls, while the kid portal has no controls at all. There's no way for parents to give kids a locked library of content to browse, or set up profiles for kids of different ages. Instead, they must present a linear playlist for kids to trek through. That may work for really young kids, but older ones will likely rebel from being force-fed their entertainment media. Also, aside from the ads sometimes featuring scantily clad women and links to outside sites, games are often glitchy, books in the 2-5 category don't have audio, and exiting content requires pulling down to reveal the "back" arrow, which won't be intuitive for kids. A kids' media portal is hardly a unique idea. If you're going to reinvent the wheel, best make it a whole lot better. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about and consider what type of content they would like their kids to have access to in general and in apps like Jezter. Check out New Healthy Media Habits for Young Kids for guidance in balancing media use with other activities.

  • How do you like this app as compared with other apps you could play? If you had or have limited screen time, would you pick this app over other apps on your device? Why or why not?

App details

For kids who love videos and educational apps

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