While we see many young kids on social media, these accounts are actually run by their parents (technically, that's allowed). For safety issues, parents of young kids generally wouldn't put the little ones in charge of their own social media account, and until you're confident your kids can be responsible enough to follow the rules you set, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram is off limits (or only accessible with parental supervision).
But this new social media app by Lego just might change your mind. The bricks company just released its new Lego Life app, an Instagram-style social media for kids ages five to 13. It only allows everything Lego on it, so if your child is obsessed with Lego, then this would be perfect. No wonder Lego is now the number one brand, according to top business valuation and strategy consultancy Brand Finance's annual Global 500 list-- they're just hitting all the right notes.
With the Lego Life app, kids can create their own Minifigure avatar and post photos of their builds. The app suggests build and design challenges and quizzes, too, to keep the kids engaged. Kids can also follow Lego characters and pages such as Lego Star Wars, Batman, Ninjago, and the like, so their posts appear on their newsfeed, just like Facebook and Instagram. And take this: it has its own custom Lego emojis!
As for the security issues that plague popular social media platforms, Lego promises that its Lego Life is a safe space for kids. For starters, your child would need your permission when they sign up and will be assigned an anonymous, randomly-generated username. Profile pictures or any photos that could help identify the user are prohibited. Video uploads are restricted to stop-motion for the same reasons. The app has no chat feature and kids can only use Lego emojis, stickers, and pre-written responses when commenting to deter cyberbullying (no swear or "dirty" words to filter here!). The app’s newsfeed is sort of intelligent, too, as it will adjust to add more posts similar to the ones previously liked or commented on.
"We err on the side of caution," Rob Lowe, who heads Lego Life, told Wired. To ensure Lego Life app's safety, Lego has partnered with a content moderation company that combines algorithmic and human detection, to screen every single image before it goes on the site. They will also be on the lookout for photos depicting personal information and identity, and determine if a post is age-appropriate or not. According to TechCrunch.com, the company says it worked with UNICEF on its set of safety features, so that should give parents some peace of mind.
Fair warning, though: the app will feature Lego products ads, which if purchased will be synched to their Lego Life accounts -- so parents, ready your wallets or practice saying no. But overall, the Lego Life app looks promising and more importantly, safe. While it's free to download on iOS and Android, it's not yet available in the country. But it will soon be, so heads-up Lego parents!