Building apps in the kids space can sometimes seem complicated. There are many rules and  legal requirements that do not exist when building technology for adults. Luckily, in most cases there are pretty easy solutions around, but they might not be as well known. I wanted to touch on one of those areas today: YouTube embeds. 

As you’re probably aware, YouTube is a platform for adults (13/16+ depending on which country you are in). This means  that when you are embedding their player into your app, the player embed code will be tracking the user, which is not allowed under COPPA (or GDPR-K for that matter). As a publisher you’re actually the one responsible for this (made clear by the NY attorney general case in late 2016), which makes it a problem you definitely want to solve.

There is a solution to this: PopJam

PopJam is the leading safe-social content platform for the kids (under-13/16) market. It is a kid-safe, COPPA and GDPR-K compliant alternative to social media platforms built for adults. Although Popjam is used by content creators and brands for  more than just video, I will be focusing on that part today as it provides a no-hassle replacement to YouTube’s embed.

Note: If you are already familiar with PopJam and want to jump straight into the technical details on how to embed your videos, you might want to go straight to our developer site and have a look at the documentation.

If you’re not yet familiar with the platform, keep reading!

Where do I upload my content?

Like YouTube, PopJam has a web application (the Publishing Tool) that allows you to easily upload and monitor your content through your browser. To ensure kid-safety, however, you need to have a verified partner account to access it. In order to achieve this, please send an email to: hi@popjam.com

Once we have received the required information and provided you with access to the Publishing Tool, you will be able to upload your video content directly from your device . Below are a few screenshots detailing this process.

Where can I see the content?

Your content will be available both on the web at https://sdk.popjam.com/?feedId=[your_feed_id] and in the PopJam apps, which you can download here (iOS/Apple) or here (Android/Google). 

Users will be able to discover and interact with this content on either platform and soon you will start to see the likes, comments and re-jams come in, all of which can be monitored through the Publishing Tool.

How can I embed the player in my own app?

Of course, you’re reading this article not because you just wanted to upload your content to the platform – you want to have it appear compliantly in your own app! 

The first thing to do is to get your feed ID. This can be found by going to the “integrations” tab of the Publishing Tool.

As we’re focusing on embedding the video player in your app, the only thing you have to worry about is to copy the “data feed id” from the little snippet on the right-hand side (as indicated in the screenshot above).

Once you have this, it’s as simple as embedding a webview with the previously mentioned URL: https://sdk.popjam.com/?feedId=[your_feed_id]

For Android, this would look something like:

For iOS, this would look something like:

Is that it?

That’s it :). Once you’ve implemented the above snippets in your app, you should be seeing a shiny new video gallery appear, much like the one shown at the start of this article. You (and your users) can then like, comment and re-jam the content whilst keeping the piece of mind that everything will be safe for kids.

Should you have any difficulty implementing this, don’t hesitate to check out our developer site or send us an email at hi@popjam.com.

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Joshua Wohle is Chief Technology Officer at SuperAwesome.


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