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PopJam

What is it?

A community app for Android, iPad and iPhone, which allows you to create and share art and photos with other PopJammers, watch videos, take quizzes and play games. 

What they say

‘Follow the things you love! Share your awesome creations! Get loads of followers!’

What they say about safety

PopJam uses SIFT, ‘the most advanced image and text filtering, and behaviour-monitoring software available.’

The app has a ‘team of professional, dedicated moderators who monitor PopJam 24 hours a day, all year round and are active members of the PopJam community.

'Selfies and photos of you and your friends aren’t allowed on PopJam. We want you to be safe and private. You can use stickers to disguise yourself – they’re fun and safe!

'We have filters on PopJam that stop bad language, negative comments or the sharing of personal information. If your text turns into #### or emoji it means we’re making sure everyone stays happy.

'We’re open from 6am to 11pm. Why? Because even though you might want to be posting on PopJam 24/7, you need a break.'

Price

Free-to-download. No in-app purchases.

What’s the reality?

An easy-to-use and safe community, PopJam encourages users to be creative by drawing pictures and customizing them with stickers, text and colours, as well as posting photos and animations.

The quizzes are fun, teen-magazine type tests along the lines of ‘What kind of best friend are you’ and ‘Find out what flavour ice-cream you are’. There are daily drawing challenges and arcade style games.

Alongside normal PopJammers there are many official ‘verified’ channels for brands including Disney, Nintendo, Danger Mouse, the Trolls movie and Horrible Histories.

What parents need to know

To get going you need a user name and password. Under 13s are advised to get their parents or guardians to read the information page.

No email address is required, although you can add one for password recovery. PopJam doesn’t report bad behaviour to parents, or notify users when their content has been barred.

Each PopJammer has their own channel to post things on. Follow someone and their posts show up in your feed. If they follow you, your posts will appear in their feed.

Moderators deal with offending posts in different ways. If there’s what PopJam considers a minor infringement such as swearing, they may simply remove the post with no further action taken.

A major offence could mean the account is suspended. PopJam only considers lifting a suspension when a parent or guardian has been in touch to discuss it.

Good citizenship in the PopJam community is rewarded. Bad behaviour is blocked and ignored. This encourages good behaviour online.

Users, who create great content and take part in lots of games and quizzes are awarded the coveted Neon Star Badge.

PopJammers are also encouraged to get as many followers as possible. You need at least 20 before you can use a GIF, 50 to post photos and 1,000 before you are awarded the Black Star Badge.

Are there appropriate parental controls and are they easy to use?

There are no parental controls but as the moderation on the site is so thorough and there are no private posts or conversations, there is little cause for concern.

PopJam says that ‘the best way to monitor a child's activity is to sit with them whilst they use the app where possible. By visiting the profile tab, you'll be able to see every creation that they've posted, and the alerts tab will show you any @ mentions that other PopJammers have made to your child.'

Parents can also open an account with the portal https://parents.superawesome.tv/ (Super Awesome Ltd own PopJam) which allows them to monitor their child’s use of PopJam and other apps.

Is it age-appropriate and are age settings clearly indicated?

PopJam doesn’t set an age limit. There are no age verification checks.

The game is rated PEGI 3 which means that the content is suitable for all ages. iTunes rates it a 9+

How easy is it for users and parents to report issues?

PopJammers can report users who make unpleasant comments to moderators. They can also block those who make such comments. Both functions are just the click of a button.

Once you have blocked someone they won’t be able to search for you, comment on your posts or @mention you.

PopJam suggests that parents should email any other queries.

Is it commercially responsible?

There are adverts on PopJam which they say ‘keeps the app free and without in-app purchases’. Any adverts are marked with the ‘Safe Ad’ logo and are age appropriate for PopJam.

The ‘verified’ user channels for brands like Skylanders, My Little Pony and Jacqueline Wilson are also clearly marked.

Is the functionality appropriate to the age of users?

There is no live streaming.

PopJammers cannot share personal information or selfies and don’t use their real names.

Users are not allowed to chat privately. All posts are public and each and every one is moderated 24/7 all year round.

Are the terms and conditions of use easy to understand and find?

They are easy to find. In the app, click on the cog at the top right of your user profile. There are also links at the bottom of every page on the website.

They are longwinded and difficult for a child to understand, although the ‘safety’, ‘community guidelines’ and ‘FAQs’ are easier.

Verdict

If you’re looking for an ‘Instagram for kids’ this is it.

This fun community is run by people who clearly care and have given safety a lot of thought.

We particularly like the thorough moderation, the fact that PopJam is only open from 6am to 11pm, that children are not allowed to share selfies or personal information and that the app encourages children to be creative.

If the terms and conditions were a little easier for children to undersand, PopJam would have the full 5 stars!