Platforms like Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube are all designed for adult audiences and despite being used by vast numbers of kids, have no support for under-13 engagement (in fact, legally they can’t).
As kids overwhelm these adult platforms, some are reacting by simply shutting down engagement. TikTok has created a whole new user experience (with dramatically curtailed functionality) for its younger users, while YouTube has taken the radical move of switching off comments for any videos created by (or intended for) kids or family users.
The result is a social media ecosystem in which well-intentioned creators find their content deprioritised by algorithms struggling under new restrictions, and audiences of children are left with experiences that restrict engagement.
Interested in kids trends? Every month we create a Kids Insights Report, digging into all the trends in our highly-engaged PopJam community. If you’d like to check out this month’s report, click here.
PopJam is the opposite, built with all of the safety features in place that we consider to be a prerequisite when engaging with children. The platform is now used by hundreds of content owners, brands and creators to provide community-enabled content for the under-13 audience. They use the platform in differing ways according to their requirements: PopJam channels are used by brands to embed their content and community on their sites, while the PopJam video player is used to share their video content compliantly with their under-13 audiences.
On PopJam, content creators can manage their own profiles, upload their own content and engage directly with their audiences, safe in the knowledge that our levels of moderation (maintained by both AI software and a 24-hour team) ensure that the conversations they have are productive, fun and appropriate. They can build an engaged, active community around their content in a way that can never be possible on an adult platform.
With many family and kids channels now without comments (either by choice, or removed by YouTube), creators and influencers are flocking to PopJam as the only safe social under-13 platform. They source ideas for videos, run competitions, engage with each other and get to know new fans on the platform.
Recently, one of our most popular creators, Sis VS Bro, hit a landmark statistic, with over 100k comments on a post featuring content from their recent YouTube video. In the weeks since posting, the content is still garnering thousands of comments, all from fans moving from YouTube to PopJam to engage more directly with their favourite content creators. Part of the reason for doing this is that YouTube, with its massive scale, is not a place where fans can hope to engage with their favourite content creators – but it’s also because PopJam, with its friendly community and moderated environment, is simply a fun place to be.
PopJam has a variety of different verified channels; Disney, Nickelodeon and Dreamworks all use channels to reach their under-13 audiences. However, influencer-run channels consistently rank among our top channels for engagement.
Some of the newest creators to PopJam, like Kayla, have modest numbers of followers, but that doesn’t stop her fans from engaging positively in the safe environment.
These super-fans will never stop watching her YouTube content, but they’re also hungry for avenues that enable more direct contact. On YouTube, they could leave her a comment – but as savvy internet natives, they know it’s unlikely that she’ll see their comments amongst the noise, or even that she manages her own channel. On PopJam, where engagement is encouraged, they can also converse with other fans of Kayla, building a community around the influencer in a way that isn’t possible on other platforms.
A truly social experience should enable dialogue and expression, and YouTube, with its mechanisms geared towards broadcast, doesn’t cater for this. On PopJam, we’re pleased to be able to enable a new generation of kids and family creators to engage in conversation with their fans, without fear of abuse or inappropriate content.