PopJam

App review by
Dana Anderson, Common Sense Media
PopJam App Poster Image
Social media app for kids under 13 pushes follows and likes.
Popular with kids

Parents say

age 7+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 10 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Created for entertainment and not with educational intent.

Ease of Play

Simple interface and easy-to-understand icons show kids what to do. Art tool isn't as easy to create with as some of the drawings displayed may lead kids to believe, which may cause some artistic frustration in some kids.

Violence

No violence observed during this review. Content is user-generated; the app employs both moderators and a monitoring software system to watch for banned content, but violent content could appear.

Sex

No sex observed during this review. Content is user-generated; the app employs both moderators and a monitoring software system to watch for banned content, but sexual content could appear.

Language

No inappropriate language observed during this review. Content is user-generated; the app employs both moderators and a monitoring software system to watch for banned content, but profanity could appear.

Consumerism

This app is free, and there are no in-app purchases. There's an underlying advertising/brand-marketing component in the "verified channels" on PopJam, which includes companies that market products and media to kids, brands, and celebrities.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

No drinking, drugs, or smoking observed during this review. Content is user-generated; the app employs both moderators and a monitoring software system to watch for banned content, but substance use could appear.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that PopJam is a creativity/social media app where kids (including kids under 13) can post content and connect with other users. Kids can create and post drawings, use stickers, animations, and images (so long as they're not identifiable in the images), take quizzes, play games, and more. It's been called "Instagram for kids" because kids can have followers who view and comment on their posts, and they can follow and comment on other users' posted content. While no social media site is 100 percent fail-safe, PopJam employs moderators and a monitoring software system, it limits posts to between 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., and it includes a long list of safety guidelines for kids new to social media. Parents can keep tabs on their kids' PopJam activity through a SuperAwesome Parents portal (a service used by many kids' digital media). 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 byBrotherhood of S. September 4, 2016
Kid, 12 years old September 14, 2016

Great idea!

I love the idea. The sad thing is that you need lots of followers to post your own pics. You are not allowed to take a pic of yourself, which is good. I'm... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byNxtalie July 10, 2017

If used safely very fun

It is a good app but make sure you monitor your child's use. If they must post a selfie(which they are never pressured too do) they can disguise it with st... Continue reading

What's it about?

To use POPJAM, kids create an account. Kids under 13 must include a parent email for notification, and parents will get information via email about the Parent Portal to keep tabs on their kids' use. Then kids complete a user profile and choose from a list of avatars for their profile picture. They can enter a specific Daily Challenge or tap the "+" icon to add their own content by using the drawing and text tool to draw or type. An "Alerts" icon shows any activity associated with their account, and a "Discover" icon lists what's currently popular on the feed, as well as games kids can play and channels. Kids' profiles include options to add friends, find followers, view their creations, or change settings.

Is it any good?

Though it's a potential social media alternative for kids who aren't ready for the big leagues, it still introduces "like envy" and follower anxiety. Kids who like to draw, take quizzes, and participate in challenges will probably enjoy posting on PopJam, scrolling through others' posts and exploring different channels. Also, much effort has gone into making it a safer, more contained environment, which helps eliminate the worst types of behavior. The biggest downside is that PopJam introduces younger kids to social media's obsessions with collecting likes and followers, which already plague older teens. For example, kids need 100 followers before they can post a photo on PopJam. Kids need 1,000 followers or more to get a special badge. Also, PopJam contests judge users' artistic creations, which -- judging by some of the comments -- can be quite discouraging to young kids new to social media. Overall, PopJam is a mixed bag. It may provide a space for safer, approved social media for kids under 13, but the push for followers and likes may spark unhealthy attitudes and expectations about social media in these young users. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why PopJam is a choice for kids under 13 and why it's important to follow the terms of use (including age limit) for social media. What are the rules, and what are important ways to stay safe online?

  • Discuss the way products, brands, and celebrities market to kids, including on PopJam. Read Common Sense Media's Sneaky Ways Advertisers Market to Kids.

  • Talk about how PopJam gives incentives for kids to follow users and be followed and how that can be both positive and negative socially.

App details

Themes & Topics

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