Helping to introduce youngsters to the world of social media

A West Country business which has been helping introduce youngsters to the world of social media has added its voice to the wave of criticism being directed at Facebook.

Government ministers have spoken out over the news that Facebook has launched a messenger app in the US which is aimed at pre-teens.

There has been growing concern about the latest development and Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has gone as far as accusing the social media giant of failing to act responsibly.

The views of Jeremy Hunt have been echoed by Charlie Dance, one of the creators behind the DiaryZapp. DiaryZapp was originally the brainchild of Charlie’s ten-year-old son Noah who wanted to help his sister Ella, seven, who has struggled with her literacy.

The app allows children to create their own diary. Parents can choose whether or not their child shares their day with pre-approved loved ones, who will be able to view and comment.

DiaryZapp differs from other sites in that there are no adverts, location settings or facial recognition tagging.

Charlie, who lives with her husband Jon and children in Wimborne, Dorset, said: “We’re parents who have designed the app for other families to use.

“It is not about collecting data or targeting advertising directly at children. We are not in the business of collecting data to sell on to other companies and advertisers.

“What we are doing is introducing children to the world of social media in a safe environment while hopefully helping them develop their literacy skills.”

This article first appeared in the Independent. To get the latest articles when they appear, buy the print edition every Sunday or subscribe to our online edition HERE.