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myFirst Circle - World’s first social community app for children - TGH Technology and Business Portal/Blog

MyFirst, a Singapore-based kids technology brand, announced at Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2023, the launch of myFirst Circle – World’s first social community app for children. myFirstCircle was built from the ground up with features that provide children with a safe and protected environment, allowing them to experience the benefits of social connectivity alongside their parents who can moderate posts on the move in this increasingly digital connected world of today and tomorrow.

Story behind myFirst Circle

2/3 of children aged 7 to 9 in Singapore use smartphones everyday and are active on social media. More than 40% of them have their own Facebook (FB) accounts, while 1/4 are on Instagram. This poll by online market research firm Miilieu Insight, conducted in 2021, highlights exposure to social media from a young age for many children.

Traditional social media networks that many adults (if not all) that are using in this digital world, they may not be suitable for young children as they may expose children to inappropriate content, social media scams, cyberbullying, and ill-intentioned strangers, due to its uncontrolled peer-to-peer connectivity.

myFirst Circle on the other hand, is not the same as a traditional social media network, it requires children’s accounts to be tied to a parental account that will approve and classify new members who join their children’s social circles.

Children on myFirst Circle can create posts and share photos with their own social circle of friends within a safe environment without the need for parents to approve every post. At the same time, parents can monitor and make changes to their child’s activities instantly if found inappropriate. This creates a balance between creating a safe space for children and freedom to socialise with their friends.

G-Jay Yong, Founder and CEO of myFirst said, “We created myFirst Circle because there is no platform currently that allows children to have authentic social engagements in a safe and controlled environment. Children can stay in touch with genuine friends even after they leave for other schools, keeping their childhood friendships alive. With myFirst Circle, we want to let children explore the world of social media, while ensuring we are there to guide them along the way.”

Create safe social circles with contact whitelisting

For safety reasons, children under 13 years of age need their parents to have an account. Parents will need to whitelist and approve the friend request by their children before they are added to the children’s social circle.

Before accepting any friend requests, parents can check with their children personally to see if they are really friends. Alternatively, parents can also have the option to chat with the parents of the incoming friend if they have additional concerns before approving the friend request.

Once the friend request is accepted, parents need to set the relationship they have with the person. There are 4 groups of relationships:

  1. Family
  2. Besties
  3. Friends
  4. Acquaintances

With theses groups, it create an expanding circle that defines the types of posts a person can view. For example, if a post is just shared among Family members, only those people who are tagged as “Family” will be able to view it. However, parents may change the post settings to be accessible to lesser groups or to expand the groups.

 

Encouraging quality interactions with ShoutOuts

myFirst Circle has replaced the “Like” system with their own “ShoutOut” system as they wanted to phase out low effort interactions that require a single click or tap. Using “ShoutOut” system, this aims to foster an engaging atmosphere with voice and text replies, encouraging quality interactions among friends and family, instead of just receiving a simple “Like” on posts. Users are encouraged to send 16-character text messages, an 8s voice blurb or emoji reactions.

Instant connection between two close families

Each child will be attached to a nuclear family, that is also known as a family bubble in myFirst Circle app. A nuclear family or a family bubble typically consists of parents and their immediate children.

2 nuclear families can easily exchange contacts for all members in their family bubbles without adding contacts one by one, simply by sending a request.

Using myFirst Circle on myFirst Fone

When using my First Fone, friends can be added automatically when users pari and link their watches. Parents will not need to accept the request on behalf, but they will still receive a notification when the connection is made, and they can choose to remove the friend if necessary.

This will help the children to stay in touch via text, video and voice call. They can also post pictures to share parts of their life with each other.

Personal thoughts and views on myFirst Circle

The world we live in today is heavily connected, reliant and dependent on the social, digital, social media and internet realms, these would probably grow even more in the years ahead. Adults will know the good and bad things of current social media networks and platforms.

The children of today can’t avoid them eventually, however they can be taught, to learn and experience, to be social, building relationships and friendships in both digital and real world, without the need of social media (just yet), starting from a young age along with the guidance and teaching from their parents, via myFirst Circle.

Not just parents can play a key part in their children’s growth in this digital and social media world, their favourite grandparents, uncles and aunties can play an integral role too.

myFirst Circle is a social network, not a social media platform.

For more information on myFirst

If you like to find out more about myFirst and their range of products, please visit https://myfirst.tech/

myFirst Circle can be downloaded from the App Store for Apple iOS devices or Google Play for Android devices. It can also be accessed through a myFirst Fone.

* Information and pictures courtesy of MyFirst and Gloo *

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