Kuddle app acts like an Instagram for kids, with numerous safeguards built in

There are many apps out there, including rip-off and copycat apps, but the latest one turning heads is another Instagram-like app. It's called Kuddle. It's not for you though. It's for your kids.

If you're a parent, you've likely wondered what age is appropriate for your child to start using Instagram or other social networks. After all, social media is filled with hypersexualised photos, cyber bulling, and other worrisome things. But it's also a handy tool for engaging with peers, which is something even young people should have the opportunity to experience. In order to find some middle ground, a Norwegian team has developed the Kuddle app and launched it earlier this month.

Kuddle is unique in that it offers a photo-sharing experience, but in a safe environment. Children must add their parent’s email to sign-up and can begin playing straightaway, but they're photos will be invisible to others until their parent approves the account through the emailed confirmation. Parents will then receive notifications whenever their child posts a photo or adds a friend. There is no integration with other social networks either; children must search for friends by name.

The app notably doesn't offer geo-tagging, in an effort to conceal a kid's location, but more importantly, it doesn't allow comments on photos. That's right. Children can caption and draw on their own photos using Kuddle's tools, but their friends will only be able to view and like those creations. This limited functionality allows young people to engage and sort of communicate with others, without opening them up to the possibility of harassment.

According to Reuters, Kuddle could have 1 million users by the end of the year and wants to aggressively tackle the US market. The app has already raised $2 million in funding and is about to raise another $8 million, on top of hiring staff in Silicon Valley. The app's user base is primarily in Norway and the US. But it has also seen recent growth in India and Saudi Arabia, encouraging the Kuddle team to add support for 9 languages and begin development on additional versions of the app.

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Kuddle said its Android and iOS app is designed for children but won't market to them or share their information. You can download Kuddle today and even give it a go before you let your kids have their first taste of social networking. Kuddle is a free download on Google Play and iTunes.



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