COPPA 2.0: FTC Rolls Out New Rules for Mobile, Social and Geolocation Apps for Kids

image from img2.timeinc.netToday the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) rolled out the biggest changes to the Childrens Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) since its launch in 1998.

For those of you not familiar with the law, COPPA regulates what information and data can be collected on children under 13. 

The regulations relate to all aspects of privacy protection and are intended to give parents complete control over their children’s personal information.

The refreshed COPPA rules take effect on July 1, 2013 and focus largely on the explosion of mobile devices, geolocation, mobile photography, social networking and app use by children under the age of 13.

FTC Resources

Additional Resources & Information

Trend Watch: What do your Instagram posts say about you? It's high school all over again.

PromagramHow you see the world is at the heart of Instagram, turning it into the digital version of high school, complete with its own cliques and cast of characters.

If you think about it, it’s not a surprise. After all, the idea at the heart of the social network is to use photos as a unique expression of your personality.

So when you choose what to capture and how to filter to get the right effect, you’re not just composing a shot, you’re revealing who you are. And like high school, those masterpieces peg you into broad archetypes, creating a Breakfast Club 2.0, if you will, for the 21st century.

Instead of jocks and cheerleaders roaming the halls or the cool clique smoking in the bathroom, you have visionaries, fashionistas, artistes and proud parents, each with their unique slant on the world, as well as hidden neuroses that make them human.

No matter what effect you lean towards or how much you crop, ultimately, you filter your sense of identity through the same lens that started to develop in high school — and it’s what you carry through life, whether you realize it or not.

So where do you fit in? What do your Instagram posts say about you?

Photo Credit: eminic23

Trend Watch: Is Teen TXTNG Killing Language? [VIDEO]

Does texting mean the death of good writing skills? John McWhorter posits that there’s much more to texting -- linguistically, culturally -- than it seems, and it’s all good news.

In this TED talk, linguist John McWhorter thinks about language in relation to race, politics and our shared cultural history.

A Final Text: Unfinished Text Message Is A Sober Reminder of the Dangers of Texting and Driving


 "Sounds good my man, seeya soon, ill tw": Alexander Heit apparently typed that text message when he drifted into oncoming traffic, jerked the steering wheel, and then went off the road and rolled his car.

Now the parents of the 22-year-old, who died in the crash, hope that a photo of these words will serve as a stark warning for others not to text while driving.

Read more over on Yahoo! News:


Search, Music and Social Networking Among Top Activities of UK Youth

image from www.futurity.orgUK teens have a significant presence online and are at the leading edge of many digital behaviors, according to a survey conducted by Research Now and initiated by K&A BrandResearch.

When UK teens go online—whether via PC or mobile—using search engines to seek out information is their No. 1 activity, in line with the ubiquity of this action among older age groups as well.

The next two most popular activities showed the ways in which teens’ digital priorities may somewhat diverge from older consumers.

Just about 80% of UK teens said they went online to visit social networks. And another seven out of 10 used the internet to listen to music. These responses beat out email, watching video and playing games as teens’ primary digital activities.

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Read the rest of the article over on eMarketer


INFOGRAPHIC: 81% of Americans use a smartphone and watch TV simultaneously

There is a chance that you are reading this post on a tablet or smartphone. In fact, you might even be dividing your attention between these words and a nearby TV or laptop. If that’s the case, you are in good company.

According to an infographic created and sponsored by Uberflip, 81% of Americans use a smartphone and watch TV simultaneously. The biggest use of the second screen appears to be social networking, and watching TV, it’s easy enough to see networks strive to make the connection.

Nearly every reality show has related hashtags flash by occasionally, encouraging viewers to weigh in on Twitter, which is the biggest drivers of social TV, with 33% of users tweeting about it last June. (via)

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Mobile Youth: Graham Brown on the Voices of a Mobile Generation

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Graham D. Brown, an internationally recognized expert on mobile technology, wants you to know that just about everything you think you know about about kids, mobile phones and technology is wrong.

No really.

In his new book, Mobile Youth: Voices of Mobile Generation, Graham brings years of expertise working in the communications and youth marketing space, coupled with interviews with youth from around the world, into a compelling exploration of how the mobile youth culture revolution is driving our increasingly social and mobile future.

It's Not About Technology, It's About Relationships

While news outlets run stories warning parents of the dangers of teen ‘internet addiction’, social media and texting, (most often during ‘sweeps week’ to garner eyeballs and advertising dollars) Graham takes a more nuanced, balanced and global look at the behaviors and sociological drivers behind these mobile trends.

The book contains several case studies of how youth---from Beijing, Tokyo, L.A. and even Amish Country in rural Pennsylvania---use mobile phones as a way to connect with their families, teachers and, most importantly, their peers.

As Brown points out, the most important thing any brand, marketing campaign or youth-focused organization can do is help consumers connect with their peers. The most successful brands, whether it’s a mobile tech firm like Samsung, a food truck in Los Angeles or social media company like Twitter, provide consumers with a way to connect with each other, which in turn creates value, relevance and stickiness for your product.

And this is the real secret sauce behind of why mobile devices have become our most valuable possessions. In the end for today’s youth, it’s about using technology (mobile, social) to connect people to their friends, passions and community.

Simply stated, the emotional connection they have with their mobile phone isn’t so much about technology, it’s about relationships.

Kids and Technology: Same Behavior, Different Tools

The other important lesson, this time for parents and educators, is to take a step back and release that teen behavior hasn’t changed from when they were kids, just the tools and technology.

Think of it this way: twenty years ago, teens hung out at the mall to share ‘status updates’, stalk and make friends and, occasionally, get into trouble. And don’t forget the hours upon hours that were spent talking on the phone (the one with the curly cord) and watching TV.

These youth behaviors still happen, but now the mall is out and Facebook is in. Hours on the phone tied to the wall has been placed with SMS, KIK and Twitter. Wasting time watching TV is out and wasting time watching Hulu and YouTube is in.

Mobile Youth: Voices of Mobile Generation is a must read for anyone--youth marketers, parents, educators, youth pastors--wanting to garner a better and deeper understanding of the emotional relationship between young people and their mobile phones.

About Graham D. Brown

  • Since witnessing the growth of youth media and technology having lived in Japan in the early 90s, Graham, along with business partner Josh Dhaliwal has helped grow mobileYouth to serve over 250 clients in 60 countries worldwide - names such as Vodafone, Nokia, Coke, McDonald's, Telenor, Red Bull, Nike, Monster Energy, Orange, O2, Verizon, Boost Mobile, the UK government and the European Commission.
  • Graham is a regular public speaker and has presented at the 3GSM World Congress, Barcelona and been interviewed on CNN, CNBC, BBC TV and Radio. His work has also featured in the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times and the Guardian. 
  • He is author, Director and Founder, mobileYouth and Chairman & Founder of The Youth Marketing Academy. Business author & speaker on the psychology of communication and media. 
  • Graham also hosts the youth marketing stream on Upstart Radio and mobileYouth's own TV channel. Graham is also a judge on the Mobile Marketing Association's Award Panel, advisory board member to UNICEF on their mobile media strategies and an advisor to the Global Youth Marketing Forum in India.

The New Multi-screen World: Understanding Cross-platform Consumer Behavior

The New Multi-screen World: Understanding Cross-platform Consumer Behavior by

Infographic: Trendrr 2012 Social TV Stats

A year-end review from Trendrrreveals that sports (31%) and reality (17%) are the primary genres generating social TV buzz, combining to account for about half of social TV conversations between January 1 and November 30 2012.

Drama (11%) and comedy (5%) also played a role in the social TV landscape, with the remaining 36% of conversations taking place around the aggregate of other, miscellaneous TV genres.

Source: The Trendrr Blog | Click Image to view LARGE

OMG! Text Messaging Celebrates 20th Anniversary

TextingYou might not believe it, but text messaging is already past its teen years.

The thumb-numbing communications format that has become a favorite of teenagers and created a language of its own turned 20 on Monday.

The very first SMS was sent out on Dec. 3, 1992 when English engineer Neil Papworth, while working at the English tech company Sema, wrote "Merry Christmas" on his computer and sent it off to Vodafone director Richard Jarvis.


Related: Text Message's 20th Anniversary Finds Users Turning to Facebook

Social TV and the Rise of the 'Connected Viewer'

SocialtvResearch conducted by Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project has found that half of all adult cell phone owners now incorporate their mobile devices into their television watching experiences.

These “connected viewers” used their cell phones for a wide range of activities during the 30 days preceding our April 2012 survey:

Taken together, 52% of all cell owners are “connected viewers”—meaning they use their phones while watching television for at least one of these reasons.

You can read the full report, The Rise of the 'Connected Viewer'.

How Texting Can Save Teen Lives

image from crisistextline.orgWhen Nancy Lublin, CEO of the teen social change organization, started texting teenagers to help with her social advocacy organization, what she found was shocking -- they started texting back about their own problems, from bullying to depression to abuse.

Last year, Nancy and started using text messaging to market these campaigns. They text over 250,000 teens a week. And have found texting to be 11x more effective than email. is a charity that runs national campaigns impacting causes teens care about. For example, Teens for Jeans collected more than 1mil pairs of jeans for homeless youth. Give a Spit registered 15,000 new donors for the bone marrow registry--and has already saved 8 lives!

Her new project is a text-only crisis line, and the results might be even more important than she expected.

Take 5 minutes and watch this video. It will literally change the way you look at texting.


Here's How To Help

As a startup subsidiary of, Nancy and her team be able to leverage both the technological ability and experience from to help launch the Crisis Text Line.

The Crisis Text Line will use text messaging to connect teens with support and resources. The goal is to create a national (and ultimately international) infrastructure to ensure that teens can use SMS to get help 24/7.

By donating to this project, you will help that teen who is being bullied and feels they have no where to go. You will help the teen who is being sexually abused at home or the teen who has struggled with depression and is feeling suicidal. Your dollars could literally save lives.

Right now Crisis Text Line is crowdsourcing donations on Indiegogo. They are trying to raise funds to get the first phase of the project off the ground.

Please donate. $5, $25 or whatever you can to this cause. It doesn't matter how much. It just matters that YOU do something to help teens in crisis.

Survey: 48% of Parents Believe the Internet is a Good Contribution to Their Children’s Lives


 A new online survey conducted by the website ParentPort reveals that, of those parents surveyed whose children watch films at home, 40% had allowed their children to watch a film classified above their age.

 The survey of 1,800 respondents from the UK’s two largest online parenting communities –Mumsnet and Netmums – reveals the challenges and pressures parents face when it comes to keeping the media their children see age-appropriate.

Of those parents surveyed whose children play video games, a quarter (25%) had allowed their children to play games classified above their age.

Furthermore, 16% of parents surveyed said they had bought their children a device or gadget – such as a games console or MP3 player – which they themselves did not fully understand how to use.

Parental supervision

However, the parents surveyed did not just give into their children’s appetite for the media – many also closely supervise what their children see and use.

In fact, 82% of the parents surveyed claimed they always know what films and television programmes their children watch, and 77% said they always or usually know what websites their children visit.

Meanwhile, the survey also uncovers parents’ boundaries when it comes to media, with one in eight of the parents surveyed reporting concern that Christmas presents their child had received were inappropriate for their age.

Some reported being worried their youngsters would have unsupervised access to the internet through smartphones and laptops given as gifts. Others cited well-meaning friends and family overstepping the mark – with examples of pre-teens unwrapping presents of 18-rated video games, and under-tens receiving 12-rated DVDs.

Overall, the parents surveyed recognised the contribution the media makes to their children’s lives. Over half (52%) of the parents surveyed thought films and DVDs generally played a positive role in their children’s lives. Forty-nine per cent cited television as also having a positive effect, and 48% believed the internet also made a good contribution to their children’s lives. (via)

Trend Watch: Welcome to Social Entertainment


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Three trends are having a key impact in how consumers are using the internet: the rise of the 'packaged internet', with access through apps rather than browsers; an explosion of professional content and real-time social all contributing to what GlobalWebIndex founder Tom Smith sees as the rise of the social entertainment age.

 According to Smith, 'The open browser-based internet has failed to create the economics to deliver professional media business online, as advertising could not demand the premiums needed and consumers are unwilling to pay for content delivered through a browser.'

GlobalWebIndex's free report analyses the current situation and considers the implications for professional media, content producers and brands.

Real-time social

The report identifies that a shift is currently taking place from blogs and forums to real-time sharing such as status updates and tweets, with 10% of internet users around the world updating their status daily. 'This radically changes the impact of social media, primarily creating an ongoing shared agenda and conversation towards reacting or interacting with live events and discourse.'
The rise of the packaged-internet

Mobile apps, tablets, e-readers, internet-connected TVs and gaming / video platforms are all contributing to the deterioration of the internet as a single entity. Mobile, in particular, has contributed to social entertainment, with over 17% of people surveyed having watched TV in the last month via their mobile, and 26% had watched an on-demand video via mobile phone.

Professional content explosion

The fastest growing motivations for using the internet identified by the survey were 'finding TV / films', 'finding music' and 'entertainment'. The survey also found that the prime motivation for 16-24 year olds to engage with brands is to entertain them (66%). GlobalWebIndex interprets this as a 'clear indication of the need for brands to adopt the position of content creator'. (via)