By Neilie Johnson,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Fun book-tracker focuses on influence; flawed functionality.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
Encourages teens to read and review a wide variety of books; level of involvement and writing will vary widely.
Ease of Play
Simple interface marred by imperfect search function, non-automatic refresh.
Violence & Scariness
No violence in the app itself, but keyword searches could bring up books containing violence.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
No sex in the app itself, but keyword searches could bring up books containing sexual references.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
No bad language in the app itself, but keyword searches could bring up books containing profanity like "s--t" and "f--k."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
None in the app itself, however some users promote their own products and websites.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
No references to drugs or alcohol in the app itself, but keyword searches could bring up books containing those.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Where to Download
Videos and Photos
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What’s It About?
LITSY is a free social media app designed for bookworms. Much like with online site Goodreads, users can search for books, review them, add them to "To Read" or "Have Read" lists, and share them with other readers. They can also follow friends and/or featured users and enjoy those readers' individual feeds. This Instagram-like app lets book enthusiasts post quotes, blurbs, images, reviews, and comments on other users' posts. It automatically tracks the number of books (and pages) users have read, as well as the number of comments, followers, likes, and book adds they've gathered, thus creating a "Litfluence" rating for them. Users with high Litfluence are awarded a kind of literary celebrity within the app, and are featured on the "suggested users" page.
Is It Any Good?
This app is an interesting mashup of social media and books, but its glitches and emphasis on status hamper it. On the upside, it's simpler than Goodreads, and lets you search for books, share them with friends, and create collections with ease. Better still, it adds a lively social element by letting you post photos along with reviews. The latter is important when it comes to personalizing your feed and increasing your Litfluence.
Users with high Litfluence (some call themselves "Littens") are serious about their profiles and presentation. This makes them fun to follow. However, parents could be rightly concerned about the app's emphasis on achieving Litfluence, as opposed to reading. In terms of functionality, the most bothersome thing about Litsy is its tendency to crash (which it did frequently at the time of this writing). On top of that, its pages don't update automatically, and its searches often return obscure titles only mildly related to the authors you're looking for. Finally, there are few details about individual books and no author profile pages. As far as kid safety goes, it's best for teens because of the inappropriate results returned by searches containing references to sex, alcohol, and profanity like "s--t" or "f--k." Despite all this, though, the app's easy and convenient to use, and if you don't take it too seriously, it's fun watching your book shelves and Litfluence grow.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about digital citizenship and being responsible online with apps like Litsy. What information is OK to share? What isn't? What's OK to post, and what's not?
Think about the kinds of books your kid is reading. Do you talk to your kids about what's appropriate reading for their age and skill level? What do they enjoy?
Talk about your motivation for using an app like Litsy that rewards use, likes, and follows. Does that add to the experience? Does it take away from it?
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
- Subjects: Language & Reading: reading, reading comprehension
- Skills: Self-Direction: academic development, achieving goals
- Pricing structure: Free
- Release date: April 1, 2016
- Category: Social Networking
- Publisher: LibraryThing.com
- Version: 2.0.1
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 9.3 or later; Android 4.1 and up
- Last updated: September 10, 2018
Did we miss something on diversity?
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Where to Download
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