ThatHelps

App review by
Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Media
ThatHelps App Poster Image
Pinpoint some positive actions with do-good social network.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids explore a variety of charitable causes from social justice to the environment. Feel good stories highlight ways that people are making positive change and may inspire kids to find their own ways to contribute. Kids can also learn about actionable steps to take to help others. The social networking aspect may help surround kids in a space full of positivity and altruism, which can help encourage more positive actions.

Ease of Play

Navigation is easy, but kids might get lost in the different kinds of content.

Violence
Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that ThatHelps is a social network that focuses on feel good stories, volunteer opportunities, and concrete ways to help improve society and the world. Kids need an email address to sign up, or they can use an Apple, Facebook, or Google account. Once in, kids scroll through posts in up to 16 categories such as Animal Welfare, Social Justice, or The Arts. ThatHelps has all the typical pieces of a social media platform including posting text and photos, sharing, following others' posts, joining groups, and inviting friends to the app. If kids turn on location services, the app will pinpoint local volunteer opportunities. There's also an option to include location data with posts that go out to the community. The developers claim that they carefully curate all content that they post, but there's no indication that they moderate user-generated content. Kids can share posts with third party apps such as Facebook and Twitter. 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.

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What's it about?

To start using THATHELPS, pick up to 16 main interests from options including climate change, health and wellness, or education. Navigate through each main interest by tapping on the sections on the bottom of the screen. Scroll through News to read the latest articles and posts. The Help section lists action and opportunities to get involved with by tapping "join" or "follow." Depending on the action step, kids can then tap complete to collect achievements in their profile, and then post about what they did. Create a new opportunity in the Create section. And the notices and profile sections alert kids to new content and keep tabs on user stats.

Is it any good?

It's nice to see a social media platform that has an exclusive focus on positivity and doing good deeds. ThatHelps offers a variety of worthy topics to focus on, with just a slight bent towards environmental causes. The newsfeed highlights lots of feel-good stories that are a nice antidote to an often negative or dramatic focus in news stories. Sometimes the real opportunities for action steps can feel a bit lost in that feed, however. Kids looking for real concrete ways to make an impact may find ideas and opportunities that satisfy them. Or they may be disappointed as they see that a lot of opportunities involve quite small steps, like signing online petitions. The setting in social media can be a great way to encourage positivity in others and an opportunity to surround yourself in a community that values compassion and altruism. Of course, because ThatHelps is a social media platform, parents will want to be clear about guidelines for safe practices in social media settings. That said, at the time of review, the overwhelming bulk of posts seem to be from the ThatHelps team, which suggests that the sharing and social networking aspect hasn't quite taken off -- at least not yet.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the causes included in ThatHelps. Which ones are your kids most passionate about? Why?

  • Discuss best practices for using social media wisely and safely. What are your expectations about what's okay to share and what shouldn't be shared?

App details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love social media and being involved

Themes & Topics

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