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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
- Parents say
- Kids say
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 ...
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.
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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.