It’s a classic conundrum: you want to help your kids keep in touch with far-flung family, but you can’t find the right platform that works for everybody. Some loved ones might be on iOS, while others use Android devices. And while platforms like WhatsApp might seem like an elegant solution when your family is far away, they’re not designed for younger users. In fact, according to WhatsApp’s terms of service, users must be at least 13 years old to sign up. Below, we take a look at some reasons parents might want to consider an alternative to WhatsApp—and some ways you can message safely with the whole family.
Because WhatsApp isn’t made for young kids, there isn’t a full suite of parental controls. It is possible to turn on some security features, like disabling your live location, but there really isn’t any way for parents to manage their kids’ contacts. And, settings can’t be locked, meaning kids could change them at any time. When a platform is designed specifically for younger users, it gives parents more control over who kids can connect with. And, it will have dedicated parental controls that let you manage settings that children can’t then change on their own accord.
Kid-friendly platforms like Kinzoo Messenger offer age-appropriate content and include filters that automatically screen for bad or rude words. These are baked right into the platform, and you don’t need to do anything extra to turn them on. And the content is created and curated by real people, ensuring that everything in the app is okay for younger users.
The prospect of strangers contacting your children online is nerve-wracking for any parent. On platforms like WhatsApp, users can receive messages from anyone—there’s no safety mechanism to stop strangers from reaching out. That’s not ideal for children, which is why Kinzoo Messenger has a secure invitation system where parents approve contacts before anyone can chat. And, kids can only join group chats with people you’ve already approved.
Many adult platforms like WhatsApp also tout the fact that they’re end-to-end encrypted. While this technology certainly has a time and a place, it makes it impossible to moderate a platform, which is essential for safety on a kid-centric messenger. When children are using a platform, end-to-end encryption can be dangerous, because messages can’t be reviewed by anyone but the sender and receiver. It creates the potential for bad actors to hide bad actions, which can be detrimental to children’s safety.
A side-by-side comparison
A kid-friendly messenger will have a few special design features intended to keep younger users safe.
If you’re looking for a kid-friendly messaging alternative to WhatsApp, download Kinzoo Messenger for free from the App Store or Play Store. When you’re using a platform with peace of mind built in, connecting with the whole family is a lot more fun!