Kinzoo Messenger for Families

App review by
Christy Matte, Common Sense Media
Kinzoo Messenger for Families App Poster Image
Cute communications platform puts safety first.

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can practice reading, writing, and communication. It's also a place to learn early Internet safety skills around what is/isn't safe/appropriate to share online. 

Ease of Play

Kids will generally find this easy to use, but there are a few features they may need help with (such as the difference between a video call and a "Blip").

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

Kids technically can't make in-app purchases, but there are items for sale that prompt them to ask a parent.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Kinzoo Messenger for Families is messaging tool that allows families and friends to stay in touch in a tightly controlled environment. Parents must start the account using their email and birth year and then must approve (via email) each child they want to add. Kids and families each have a "magic code" which allows other friends and family to directly connect with one another. Even these require parental approval before being finalized. Adults can also send invites via email and text. Each user has their own pin to access their account, but adults have full control over those as well. There are in-app purchases for things like sticker packs, although there are also free versions available. Kids can't purchase additional packs, but theycan see them and will be prompted to "ask a parent" to purchase. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byThe White Hatter September 17, 2021

The best privacy based messaging app for families

As social media safety and digital literacy advocates, we have both tested and used Kinzoo. What we love, at its foundation Kinzoo was built by a father with pr... Continue reading
Adult Written bybeingdad February 17, 2021

Dropping Facebook Messenger Kids for this one!

I've done a lot of searching for a good alternative to Facebook Messenger for Kids. I love that they provided so much parental control, but I just couldn... Continue reading

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's it about?

KINZOO MESSENGER FOR FAMILIES is a communication platform that families can use to keep in touch with each other and friends. Adults can create family accounts containing other adults/guardians and kids. These users are automatically connected. Each family member can also connect with people outside the family account (kids can only connect via the "magic codes" provided for each account) for direct messaging or group threads. All of the kid connections must be approved the account owner. From there, users can send text, pictures, emojis, stickers, audio messages, and GIFs to one another. For those who are feeling creative, there's a sticker maker and an emoji maker where you can combine various elements to make your own designs. Much like with other messaging apps, there are free sticker packs and packs available through in-app purchases (kids can see them but can't buy them). There's also a drawing game where one player draws an image and the other player tries to guess what it is. Lastly, users can call each other for video (or voice only) chat. There are normal video calls and "Blip" calls, which are restricted to 8 minutes in case you're short for time. It's easy to swap between users with personal pin numbers so kids don't need a separate device.

Is it any good?

This is a winning option for families and kids who want to be able to message each other without fear of outside connections. Kinzoo Messenger for Families ticks a lot of the boxes for safety. Parents approve kid accounts as well as all of their connections. Although they can't see private chats between other users, they can always access kid accounts via pin codes. Even if kids literally post their "magic codes" on a billboard, parents must approve each friend request. There isn't any way to change the magic codes, though, so kids still should learn to share with care.

Including Blips which are intentionally short chats gives kids -- and parents -- an option to keep in touch without an endless chat. It's a great feature that can help set limits. The interface is unusually (and pleasantly) clean for an app geared towards kids, with a minimalist white background that helps make navigation relatively simple. And this carries into other areas as well. Yes, you can send just about any kind of message you'd like, but the games and activities area is sparse right now. This may not matter to you if your goal is just keeping kids in touch with a friend or Grandma, but it's something to know if your family is looking for a lot of extra features. Kinzoo Messenger for Families isn't fancy. It isn't your Swiss Army Knife of apps. But it simply does what it sets out to do and it does it well.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about social media expectations with Kinzoo Messenger for Families. What are your rules around sharing? What are OK things to do/say on social media? What are things that you should avoid doing/saying?

  • How do you like this app in comparison with other apps you could use? As you balance your time on- and off-screen, would this be an app you'd choose to use? Why or why not?

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
  • Subjects: Language & Reading: discussion, reading
    Arts: drawing
  • Skills: Creativity: producing new content
    Communication: asking questions, conveying messages effectively, multiple forms of expression
  • Price: Free
  • Pricing structure: Free (optional in-app purchases from $2.79-3.99 for additional content)
  • Release date: January 14, 2021
  • Category: Social Networking
  • Size: 42.70 MB
  • Version: 4.0.2
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 11.4 or later; Android 5.0 and up
  • Last updated: February 1, 2021

Our editors recommend

For kids who love social networking

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