Mappen - Make Something Happen

App review by
Neilie Johnson, Common Sense Media
Mappen - Make Something Happen App Poster Image
Risky, location-based app has inconsistent functionality.

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Created for entertainment and not intended for learning.

Ease of Play

Simple interface; inconsistent functionality across platforms. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Users can add bars to maps; alcohol-themed emojis.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Mappen – Make Something Happen is a freemium social networking app designed to help friends stay in touch. It accesses your phone contact list to build your friends list, but you can't add random people: Friends must be specifically invited to join your list. You can can also connect to Instagram and enable voice calling. To deactivate your account, you have to contact the developers. The app asks users to enable location tracking and asks them to designate a “home” location, which may or may not be the user's home address. Users can track friends if they have location tracking on, but it's possible to be invisible to one or more people at any time. User-created maps show location addresses and even provide directions to those locations through Google Maps. Some report that the app spams people in their contact lists because they receive multiple invites from other users; the volume of these reviews indicates the invite process and the language around it is confusing for many. Read the app's privacy policy to find out about the types of information collected and shared. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bykimberval January 11, 2019

Great way for my kid Leyna to socialize

My sweetheart Leyna goes to middle school and at first I wasn't okay with the app but when I learned that you decide who you want to share your info with.... Continue reading
Adult Written bynocarnations October 8, 2018

We love the Mappen App and use it all the time in our family.

As a parent of 2 and in a couple of months 3 teenagers, this app has been invaluable. This is the only "social media" we let our kids have. My girls... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old July 29, 2018

It’s great

YOU decide who you want to share your info with. Lot of people think it’s dangerous but if you don’t want some people to see where you are just turn them off. I... Continue reading

What's it about?

MAPPEN – MAKE SOMETHING HAPPEN is a free social networking app that lets users create maps of their favorite places and share them with friends. It can can also share your real-time location with one or more friends, and teens can use a selection of emojis to enhance communication. Teens can only connect with people in their own contact lists and have full control over who they share their location with at any time. As teens try to add friends, the app asks if they want to "follow" that person in stead of "invite" them. If you choose to "follow," the app sends a text to that person to get them to sign up. The Friend function lets friends-of-friends attend your events, and a built in “hide” function lets you hide events from specific people. The Map function allows searches for specific locations and commentary on them, and provides directions to those locations via Google Maps and Uber. Invites/event announcements allow invitees to comment. The Meet-up function lets users suggest activities to friends, set specific meetup details, and designate “top” friends.

Is it any good?

This location-sharing networker does have some safeguards in place, but it's still a risky -- and technically glitchy -- choice for teens. On the upside, teens only choose people to add from their own contact list and can choose to be invisible if they don't want to share their location. However, if teens don't stay on top of the settings, they may continuously share their location which is a problem for a wide variety of reasons, including the fact that they might not make the best choices about who to add. The most likely problem, however, is fuel for teen drama, so if your kid can see friends hanging out but wasn't invited, there'll be hurt feelings. The "hide" feature, though likely meant to safeguard feelings, is another potential drama-creator if someone forgets to use it. And if relationships go sour or a significant other gets clingy, having your location on display is a set-up for trouble. In terms of functionality, the app's effectiveness varies across platforms; at present, only Apple users can create “favorites” maps. Android users can't add locations to maps without attaching them to specific events. Worse, because of the confusion around inviting others ("follow" vs. "invite"), many reviews indicate the app feels "spammy" because it texts people who don't yet have the app. While it seems fun and potentially safe to share location with friends only, the disadvantages of constant location sharing (even with friends only) outweigh the advantages. Instead of using Mappen – Make Something Happen teens can stick to finding out what's happening the old-fashioned way -- through text.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about apps that use your location like Mappen - Make Something Happen. When is OK to let an app know your location? When does that get risky?

  • Discuss when and how to create invite lists. How do you limit invites without hurting people's feelings? 

  • Talk about the difference between in-person friends and online friends. Who in your contact list is it safe to share your location with? Are there people in your contacts that aren't really friends?

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
  • Price: Free
  • Pricing structure: Free
  • Release date: August 3, 2017
  • Category: Social Networking
  • Size: 77.30 MB
  • Publisher: Juxta Labs
  • Version: 1.12.7
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 10.0 or later; Android 4.4 and up
  • Last updated: July 11, 2020

Our editors recommend

For kids who love social networking and hanging out with friends

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