A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
What's it about?
To use MAZU, create an account by entering your birth date, parent email, and username. Create an avatar. Once parents activate their child's account, they can create an "adult account." Then kids or parents can "Give and Receive Love" by posting inspiration, hope, smiles, or wisdom in "The Heart of Mazu" or by viewing loving posts from others (you can send a thank you for -- or report -- a post). Join communities of other Mazu users with similar interests. You can post to everyone on Mazu in The Village, or individually in small groups with Messenger. Before you post, read "The Four Way Test" to see if your post passes the test. Tag which value (creativity, wisdom, truth, hope, fun, family, respect) posts show.
Is it any good?
This kids' social network has the potential to be a terrific first social media experience for young kids to use along with their families and friends. By encouraging users to take The Four Way Test, tag posts according to values that the post shows, and check their posting vs. liking other people's posts with a balance scale, Mazu helps kids (and adults) learn positive online socializing. That said, social media is only as good as the content users choose to post, and the quality of content on Mazu at the time of this review is spotty. Some posts are sweet, cute, and inspiring; other posts are odd (random selfies of middle-age people), monotonous (multiple posts in a row from one user), and strange (one post that apparently made it through moderation included jokes about murder). There isn't a wide variety of interest groups (yet), and the avatar creator is far more complicated than making an avatar should be. Still, if your kid is itching to get a social media account, Mazu has a lot of ways for parents to stay on top of their kids' use and for kids to learn strong digital citizenship skills, and all in an ad-free experience.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Mazu may be a good way for parents to introduce their kids to the world of social media. For other ways to help your kids learn about online social interactions, read Common Sense Media's What are the basics my kids need to know about social media?
Kids and adults both post to Mazu, and kids can see posts from adults they don't know. Even though adults must verify their accounts and posts are moderated, remind your kids never to post personally identifiable information. Mazu instructs kids not to use their real name for their user name.
Ask your kids why they want a social media account. Talk about your own values and ideas about healthy use of social media. Ask them how much time per day they think is appropriate to spend on social media at their age. What about at your age?
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
- Skills: Emotional Development: perspective taking
Communication: friendship building, multiple forms of expression
Responsibility & Ethics: following codes of conduct, honoring the community
Tech Skills: social media
- Price: Free
- Pricing structure: Free
- Release date: August 2, 2018
- Category: Social Networking
- Size: 56.70 MB
- Publisher: Just Be Friends Kids, Inc.
- Version: 4.0.9
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 10.0 or later; Android 6.0 and up
For kids who love social networking
Our editors recommend
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.