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A new mobile application called Kuddle is introducing a safer way for kids to get introduced to social media, while still under a parent’s watchful eye. The photo-sharing app, which is like a more restricted version of Instagram, allows children to post and share photos with friends in a protected environment, safe from cyberbullying or unwanted connections from strangers.
Founded in March by a team of Norway-based developers and designers, all with kids of their own, the idea was prompted by co-founder and CEO Ole Vidar Hestaas’s experience raising his children. His 7-year old son wanted to be on Instagram, like his older sister was, but of course that’s not allowed…or, frankly, a good idea at that age.
After looking for an app designed with the safety and security needs of children and parents in mind, and not finding anything at all, he decided to build one.
How It’s Safer
The app is designed from the ground-up to offer a safer environment than something like Instagram. Children have to input their parent’s email at sign-up, but can begin to use the app right away. However, their photos can’t be viewed or seen by others until the parent approves the account via the email they receive.
Afterwards, parents are notified every time a child posts a photo and every time they add a friend. (Because children don’t have their own Facebook account and friend list, they search for friends by name.)
In addition, photos will appear only in approved friends’ feeds, and are not geo-tagged so as not to reveal a child’s location.
Though based in Norway, the app is COPPA-compliant, a U.S. regulation related to software and services designed for children. Children aren’t marketed to, and their info isn’t shared.