While most social media networks have a minimum age requirement of 13, Kuddle provides a safer entry to social media for kids below this age. Kuddle aims to create a fun and safer digital environment for children, while enhancing their knowledge about responsible digital sharing by combining elements of education and entertainment.
"Today's children increasingly want to partake in social media, but it's important that they use social media services that are adapted to their level of knowledge and their critical judgment," said Ole Vidar Hestaas, founder and CEO of Kuddle. "Kuddle not only provides a fun picture-sharing experience for kids, but also a platform on which kids can learn how to behave and act responsibly on social networks."
Cyberbullying and inappropriate content-sharing among children and youth is a growing challenge in today's society. The Kuddle app is a tool that is directly aimed at changing the alarming online culture and negative trends developing among children and adolescent teens.
Kuddle offers users features to educate children about things such as inclusion, responsibility, and online etiquette – otherwise known as "netiquette." The app features a character – Kodi Kuddle – who befriends all users by default and regularly sends positive messages and input for good digital behavior to Kuddle's users. Additionally, parental supervision is one of Kuddle's most important and unique features. With this feature, the parent/caregiver will be able to regulate content on their child's/children's account(s) to ensure their online safety. Parents/caregivers will be able to monitor all of their child's activities, including photo-sharing, caption-writing, and added friends.
Created after son's demand
The idea behind the app came when Hestaas' son asked him if he could create an account on a popular picture-sharing app. Hestaas deemed the popular app, with its age limit of 13, as too grown-up for his seven-year-old son, but also discovered the lack of alternatives for children interested in social media.
To address this need, under the advisement from children's advocacy group Save the Children Norway, the Norwegian Media Authority and the interest group ICT Norway, Hestaas began developing an app to provide a safer entry to the world of social media for kids, together with designer Knut Taroy and technology developer Christian Vebner. One year later the three founders are now ready to launch their invention, Kuddle, into the US market.