Website review by
Polly Conway, Common Sense Media
Issuu Website Poster Image
Teens make their own online magazine, but watch the content.

Parents say

age 18+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn to write articles, take photographs, organize information, and create a magazine to share with the world. They also can learn about nearly any subject by reading through the magazines other users have uploaded. Kids can learn that anyone can be a journalist if they have the time and interest. They'll also learn to promote and share their magazine through social media and other channels; reaching readers is half the fun! Issuu is a cool platform that lets kids share their ideas with the world, but the amount of content -- and its poor search mechanism -- could make the site overwhelming for some.

Positive Messages

Kids will be empowered by creating their own content for a magazine. The process could give them confidence and make them excited about sharing their work.


Even using Safe Search, which claims to filter inappropriate content, we saw a lot of sexual imagery both in the fashion section and when we did a specific search for "sex." (And with the Safe Search off? Extreme explicit nudity.)


The site has thousands of magazines to browse through, and some of them will inevitably contain profanity.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some magazines focus on cocktail culture, while others are devoted to marijuana use.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Issuu is a website where people can browse thousands of user-designed magazines or upload and share their own. It's very visual and interesting, and it's stocked with all kinds of content. However, it's not a site where you want your kids randomly clicking around. There are some magazines for kids, but the search function doesn't make them easy to find. Some magazines are more professional than others; since anyone can put their content on Issuu, there's a lot of mediocre stuff to wade through. Under the CCPA law you have the right to protect your personal information. Make a Do Not Sell request to issuu.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bySusan G February 27, 2019


I have never gone on to the web to post a negative review before but a cautionary tale - do not use this site or let your children / teens do so. The site offer... Continue reading
Adult Written byDavid I. June 16, 2017

Do not use this company

This company provides absolutely zero customer service. They don't have a telephone number posted. If you try the demo, you will be billed the minute it ex... Continue reading

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's it about?

ISSUU is a digital publishing platform that people can use to create their own free online magazines. Not everything uploaded to Issuu is an actual magazine; there are lots of catalogs, brochures, and menus, as well. To add your own magazine to the site, you have to design it using your own software; Issuu is more of a host than a design tool. However, you can customize the cover as well as add audio content on the site. Magazines can be up to 500 pages in length, and the site lets you track how many people are reading it and other statistics.

Is it any good?

The selection is incredible. It's like browsing the world's largest newsstand, except everything is free. Looking for a high-design magazine all about Star Trek? It has it. A magazine about golf in central Florida? It's here, too. However, unlike a magazine shop in the real world, inappropriate content isn't hidden behind the counter. It comes up pretty easily, even with the Safe Search setting on. However, the site has some outstanding content for kids -- it's just a matter of finding it. There's no specific section for kids, and a search for "kids" brings up everything from Russian lingerie catalogs to a KISS Kids comic book (yes, the band).

It can be hard to find particular topics; a more defined category system would be really helpful, especially for kids trying to find the content meant for them. If kids want to contribute their own magazine to the site, they need to design it using their own software and then upload it, which could feel like extra work. The main concern, however, is what happens when kids casually browse Issuu; inappropriate content is easy to come across, whether it's explicit sex manuals or marijuana-growing guides. A separate site, like an Issuu for Kids, or an effective filter would make this a much safer place for young people to explore their interests.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the difference between online and print magazines. What's good about having something available online? Are online magazines more environmentally friendly than print publications?

  • If your kid could create a magazine on any subject, what would it be? Issuu's content proves that people are interested in all kinds of subjects and that there's an audience for any idea, no matter how small or unusual.

Website details

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