When it comes to the safest social media apps for tweens i.e. kids between ages 9 to 12, WhatsWhat.Me was my all-time favorite. It elevated the security measures beyond other platforms, by taking an extra stride by incorporating webcam-enabled login through cutting-edge facial recognition technology. Additionally, it strictly restricted children’s interactions with peers within their own grade level.
However, this safe social media site for tweens is no more functional. Not just WhatsWhat.Me but most other similar tween social media sites are out of business in the past few years. But don’t worry there are other safe social media apps for younger children of age 9,10, 11, or 12 years old that are still working in 2023.
In this article, I am going to introduce you to the best social media apps for tweens that you can let your kids use without any fear or doubts in your mind. So without wasting any more time let’s get started.
- Key Takeaways
- Should I Let My Tween Use Social Media? Benefits & Disadvantages
- Safest Social Media Apps For Tweens
- Use Parental Control Apps To Your Advantage
- What Is The Best Social Media For Kids? Final Verdict
Letting your tweens use social media sites is a big decision and you should not take it without proper research. In this article, I have done the hard part for you, here are the 5 best and safest social media apps for tweens and teens: PopJam, Grom Social, Kidzworld, Socialite, and Messenger Kids. These kids-only social media platforms ensure that kid stays safe while they are online. You can also make use of parental control apps like KidsGuard Pro or Cocospy for added security.
Should I Let My Tween Use Social Media? Benefits & Disadvantages
There’s no direct yes or no answer for whether you should let your tween use social media. In an age where technology has touched all parts of our lives, we can’t just let our kids stay away from it. However, that doesn’t mean that you should be careless and let your younger children on their own on the internet which is filled with pedophiles, scammers, and graphic and pornographic content. Following are some advantages and disadvantages of letting your tween use social media sites at such a minor age.
Benefits Of Social Media For Preteens
1. Boosting self-assurance
Social media platforms play a role in fostering self-assurance among young children. Engaging in activities such as liking or commenting on posts enables them to gain confidence and overcome shyness. Research conducted by Common Sense Media revealed that 29% of teenagers using social media reported feeling less shy, while 20% acknowledged its ability to enhance their overall confidence.
2. Enhancing intellectual growth
According to a report from Globe and Mail, social media platforms are proven to contribute to the intellectual development of children. Beyond enhancing social skills, engaging with social media can also improve cognitive abilities such as problem-solving, comprehension, critical thinking, and memory. Through these platforms, children learn to discern and evaluate information critically, distinguishing between what is valuable and what is not.
3. Becoming more helpful
A study from Iowa University showed that playing video games that involve social interaction can make kids behave better and be more tolerant of others. It means that after playing these social games, children tend to be more helpful and kind to people around them.
Disadvantages Of Social Media For Younger Children
1. Grooming and cyberbullying
Cyberbullying and grooming are the biggest threats of social media for tweens and teens. There are so many non-social elements ready to groom your child and take advantage of their innocence on the internet. Cyberbullying is another dark side of social media which is not good for your young child.
Social media can be very addictive, it can distract your child from other important parts of their lives such as studies or outdoor games. Apps like TikTok are not safe for kids for the same reason, because they are very addictive. The same is the case with Discord, Kik, Clubhouse, etc.
3. Privacy concerns
Tweens may inadvertently share personal information or engage in risky online behaviors on social media platforms, which can compromise their privacy and make them vulnerable to online predators or unwanted exposure to their personal lives.
After going through the pros and cons of social media for tweens the decision is up to you whether you want to let your young children use it or not. As a piece of advice, If you are going to let your kids use social media, only let them use kid-centric social media apps that are meant for them.
Following are some of the safest social media apps and sites for children aged between 9 to 12.
Safest Social Media Apps For Tweens
When it comes to the safest social media app for 9 years olds then PopJam is the best app that comes to my mind.
With the help of this app, children can participate in communities, track their beloved influencers, engage in quizzes and games, unleash their artistic talents, apply filters and stickers, and establish connections with like-minded “PopJammers” who share similar interests.
It has the following safety features for kids:
- PopJam has dedicated moderators who actively monitor the platform round the clock and also participate as community members.
- You can only send messages to mutual followers on PopJam.
- Tweens below 13 years old must get parental consent before using the PopJam app.
- All the content that is posted to the PopJam platform is monitored.
- To send messages to someone on PopJam, a mutual following is required.
- Users have the ability to report inappropriate content and easily unfollow others.
It is available for free to download on Android phones.
2. Grom Social
Another safe social media app for 12-year-olds and minors is Grom Social. The application enables tweens to connect with other children of their age who share similar interests through chat messaging, video creation, social media viewing, and post sharing. It’s a kind of Instagram but for younger children.
Following safety measures are taken by Grom Social to provide a safe social media experience to your child.
- Parents can monitor their child’s activities using Grom Social’s companion app.
- It incorporates filters to prevent the display of inappropriate and abusive language.
- In order to create an account on this app, it requires email verification from the parent.
If you are looking for a social media site for your 10 or 11-year-old child then you can give Spotlite a chance. Formerly known as Kudos, this app lets tweens and teens share videos, and images, react to posts, and comment on their friends’ content. Moreover, it allows them to join different groups to connect with other kids who share similar interests.
The primary objective of the app is to educate preteens, tweens, and teens on proper online interaction etiquette.
Below are the safety protocols Spotlite follows to ensure your child’s safety online.
- All Soptlite accounts require email authentication from a guardian or parents before the tweens can add any friends to their account.
- Spotlite never tracks or sells any personal information of your child, including their location.
- It’s not possible for children under the age of 13 to use Spotlite without parental approval.
- The videos and pictures shared by kids are only visible to their friends.
It does not come in the form of an app as of now, to use it you need to visit the website.
Messenger Kids is Facebook’s alternative messaging app and platform designed specifically for children, offering a safer and age-appropriate experience compared to its adult-centric counterpart. It operates similarly to the full-fledged version, enabling children to communicate with their peers through messaging and video calls.
The key distinction is that parents retain control through the Messenger Kids Parent Dashboard. This dashboard provides parents with the ability to review their child’s chat and contact histories, as well as gain insights into who they have reported or blocked. It empowers parents with a comprehensive insight into their child’s interactions within the app.
Safety features of Messenger Kids:
- Parental control features built into the app
- Review kid’s chats and contacts remotely
- The app has kids-appropriate GIFs, emojis, filters, etc.
It is available on both Android and iOS platforms and that too for free of cost.
Kidzworld is a social platform designed specifically for kids, ensuring a safe and secure online environment for your tweens and teens. It offers a wide range of engaging activities, including games, quizzes, chat features, rewards, and more.
Kidzworld proudly positions itself as the ultimate safety-conscious social media platform for children, and after evaluating its safety features, I wholeheartedly concur with its claim.
The safety features provided by Kidzworld are as follows:
- Uses top-notch technology to safeguard kids against bullying, offensive language, and unwelcome visitors, ensuring their complete protection.
- Kids’ personal data stays confidential.
- 24/7 moderation.
It’s a free website that can be used from any browser or any device be it a computer, tablet, or smartphone.
Use Parental Control Apps To Your Advantage
It’s possible that your kids might be secretly using other social media apps behind your back. You can’t be always there with them to check their internet usage and that’s where parental control apps come to the rescue.
A parental control app will help you keep an eye on your child 24/7 without being with them all the time. You just have to install a parental control app on your child’s phone and then you can remotely check your tween’s social media activities or internet browsing history on your device remotely.
The best part is that these apps are hidden on the target device. So the kids never know that their parents are spying on them. Following are some popular parental control apps that you can try.
By using these apps not only can you keep an eye on your child’s social media but do a lot more. Such as monitoring your teen’s driving, seeing their text messages and call logs, tracking their location, and much more.
What Is The Best Social Media For Kids? Final Verdict
There are both advantages and disadvantages of social media, especially for younger kids such as tweens and teens. As a parent, you need to be very careful while choosing a safe social media site for tweens aged between 9 to 12 years of age. Thoroughly review the app or site’s safety protocols before letting your kids use it. You can let your kids use any of the above-mentioned social media sites without any worries as they are meant for tweens and teens.
What Is The Safest Social Media For 12-Year-Olds?
There are many safe social media apps and sites for 12-year-old such as PopJam, Grom Social, Kidzworld, etc.
Can Tweens Use Instagram?
No, Instagram is not made for tweens. The minimum legal age to use Instagram is 13 years old.
Should Kids Under 12 Use Social Media?
Kids under 12 can use social media but only under the supervision of their parents or guardian.