New Rules: no social media for kids

There has been plenty of discussion about kids apps, COPPA, social media, and IAP’s. At we’ve been thinking about how this affects the way we review. While developers are eager to capture an audience, whether via Facebook or for better monetization – parents have been increasingly irritated by the blatancy of how this incorporated. If developers want to stay connected with parents it must be done in a way that is clearly directed to parents and difficult to reach by children.

We recently turned down our first app simply because of the blatant incorporation of social media directed to children. It was a good app, it could have been a great app, but it was a turning point for us and in implementing best practices for kids apps.

We want to make it as easy as possible for developers to build the best kids app possible, while making sure that you best practices are followed, so we will introduce these rules as simply as possible. Here is the first one:

Rule #1: There is NEVER a need for a child to “Like” or “Tweet” about an app they are using.

What this means: Effective 4/1/2012 we will not include reviews of any children’s app on our site that encourages or makes it simple for children to use social media within an app. It IS acceptable to have a separate page for parents with Facebook, Twitter or other social media links. It MAY BE acceptable to include social media in apps  where children are not the prime audience, but the app is of interest to children and families.