Our friends at KidsGoMobile have chosen some of the hottest apps your kids are downloading right now. Take at look at their common sense, no drama summary of the pros and cons of Snapchat, Instagram and Kik.
Summary: Snapchat is a fast way to share a moment with friends through video and photos. The sender will take a photo and select a short time to show the image (up to 10 seconds) before sending it to a friend or multiple friends. The image will then appear on the recipient’s phone for the selected time only and then self destruct.
Pro: A fun way to engage with friends when the content is appropriate. Snapchat will let a user know if the receiver has taken a screen capture of your image.
Con: The app can access your photos, images can be screen captured and kept forever. This leaves room for inappropriate images to be circulated on the internet.
Summary: There are over 130 million users on Instagram. Instagram is a simple way to capture and share photos and videos with others and allows for several filter effects. Your feed updates to show new photos from friends and people around the world.
Pro: A chance to exercise creativity with photos and filters and share them with you networks. A private option is available to make the users profile and photos private from the public.
Con: Ability to share and access photos with strangers. Ensure your privacy settings are set to private to avoid spam and strangers sharing your photos.
Summary: Kik is an alternative to standard text messaging. It has quickly become very popular amongst children as it supports SMS, photo and video sharing as well as voice recordings.
Pro: Kik is free and contains no in app purchases. It is easy to engage with friends while only using data or wireless to connect. Users are not required to give out personal phone number to others.
Con: Content can easily be shared to other social media without knowledge by accessing the users personal photos. Strangers can easily connect with users through Kik. Because of this it is rated 17+ on the iOS App store.
Advice: Many apps ask the user for permission to access personal photos and current location. If given permission, users can share personal photos and potentially be located through their GPS location. In order to mitigate these risks we recommend explaining to your child why it is not safe to let these apps access personal information and show them how to turn it off such permissions. This can be access on an iPhone by click on Settings > Privacy > GPS > Photos.
Try out the apps your kid wants to use so that you understand the content and the features.