Last week (UK half term), our PopJam team hit the road to meet hundreds of kids and their families. First up was Kidtropolis in London, a fun-packed family event featuring a plethora of activities and entertainment from kids’ favourite brands and personalities. Later in the week, the journey continued to the Digital Kids Show in Manchester, a separate event focussed on pure digital education, gaming and featuring some very special YouTuber guests.
Armed with reams of paper and a lifetime supply of colourful art materials, they had three simple missions:
- Introduce kids to PopJam (if they weren’t amongst the ⅓ UK 7-12s with an account already)
- Let kids unleash their creativity to build an awesome PopJam-fuelled art gallery
- Share digital safety tips, and – most importantly – get top advice from the kids themselves
First stop: Kidtropolis. This event played host to over 80 features, brands and experiences, all under one roof. Surrounded by familiar brands like Nerf, My Little Pony, Transformers, Fun Kids Live, Skylanders, Guinness World Records and more (many of whom actually own content channels on PopJam), we set up a creative hub for kids and their parents to share artwork and meet our team to find out how PopJam works and what makes it unique in the kids’ space. To get some idea of the artistic enthusiasm of our visitors, here’s the PopJam Kidtropolis stand before and after a hard day’s work:
Kids were invited to decorate their own emojis, hearts, t-shirts, cats, stars and more, with some amazing designs created:
In keeping with PopJam’s core values of creativity and safety, the team also gathered some very shrewd online safety tips from kids, many of whom were under 10 years old. Top concerns that emerged were the importance of keeping passwords and addresses safe from prying eyes:
Next stop: the Digital Kids Show. This event, organised by Engage Media Solutions, was all about digital based learning and activities for kids and teens, featuring a Minecraft zone, a coding area, parent and kids’ gaming tournaments, an Internet safety zone, TV/YouTube stars & VR experiences. We even spotted AmyLee33, a hugely popular UK YouTuber and one of the first to adopt PopJam as her safe-social channel to connect with under-13s (pictured below with fellow YouTuber Salemslady – and our lovely team, of course).
Families at the Digital Kids Show were highly engaged with our activities, producing hundreds of pieces of vibrant artwork and even more safety tips for navigating the digital world:
The team learnt a great deal from kids and their parents about their online safety concerns (and now have enough emoji-based drawings to wallpaper a small house). Some insights into kids’ and parents’ relationships with social content and safety online:
- Kids love drawing, and getting recognition for it. We see this on PopJam every day, with creative kids striving to win the Daily Challenge or make it into the PopJam gallery, and this was played out at Kidtropolis, with kids designing our Creative Challenge templates and wanting their hard work recognised and celebrated by a spot on the wall.
- Many of the kids we spoke to about online safety understood that giving out your address wasn’t the right thing to do. They also felt strongly about not giving out passwords or sharing them with friends. They had less concern, however, about the importance of other personally identifying information such as account usernames and selfies – this an area we discussed with many kids and parents.
- As the kids engaged with art, we got to chat to the parents about PopJam and how the app celebrated creativity, whilst ensuring safety through the extensive filtering and moderation in place. For many parents, this was the first time they have considered letting their child use a social media, reassured by PopJam’s age-appropriate measures.
- Girls loved to draw on the app and boys were all about playing games and using the stickers to create funny faces! All of the kids really enjoyed using stickers to disguise selfies.
If you’d like to find out more about how to use PopJam to creativity and safely engage with under-13s, please get in touch.
Until next time…. Keep Jammin’.