Welcome to Pixalate’s CTV & Mobile App Manual Reviews According to COPPA, a series containing the detailed factors the Trust & Safety Advisory Board educators used to assess an app’s child-directedness.
The educators manually review thousands of mobile apps available in the Google Play & Apple App Stores as well as connected TV (CTV) apps from the Roku Channel Store and Amazon Fire TV App Store using the COPPA Rule factors shown below & make those results available to the public at ratings.pixalate.com.
This post takes a look at a popular game from the Google Play and Apple App Stores. Our reviewer discusses how the subjective factors set forth in the COPPA Rule apply to the app and factor into the reviewer's determination as to whether the app is child-directed or general audience (i.e., it is not targeting children).
The teacher will indicate the factors they relied upon in their assessment using the 10 factors shown below that reflect the 10 child-directed factors in the COPPA Rule.
Makeover apps are popular with both children and adults and this nail-focused makeover app is no exception. The physical interactions of dragging around the polish and accessories prevents children from becoming bored and the mix of sophisticated and playful colors and designs would keep both a 7 year old and 70 year old engaged in the app.
In addition to creating virtual nail art, this app also advertises ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response). For those unfamiliar with ASMR, it is the tingly and relaxing sensation that can be triggered by certain sounds or visuals. For example, watching a crackling fireplace video may trigger an ASMR response for some people. I was a bit skeptical of how this nail salon app might promote ASMR, but after playing for a bit I could see how the repetitive motions and sounds of the polishing and filing could be relaxing to some people. ASMR apps are popular amongst adults and children, with many parents looking for child directed ASMR apps to help their kids relax. The subject matter and ASMR references for this app reflect a target audience including both adults and children.
Relaxing background music gives a very chill vibe to the app that would be appreciated by both children and adults alike. The sounds of filing down the nails and spreading the polish also increase the auditory engagement of the app. After finishing a set of nails confetti shoots across the screen, a celebratory sound is played, stars are awarded, and coins are given that can be used to purchase additional nail accessories. This variety of incentives ensures that there is something for all ages to encourage continued use of the app.
Reviews indicate a mixed audience with reviews from both adults and children. There are a few reviews indicating that adults might find the app boring, while others indicate there are too many advertisements to hold the attention of children. However, even taking these reviews into consideration there does seem to be a balance of different age groups using this app.
Both the iOS and Android versions of this app contain numerous advertisements. Banner ads are always present on the bottom of the screen for a variety of general audience apps and products.
In addition to the banner ads, there are numerous video ads that are played throughout the game. Most of these video ads are for other apps, both child directed and general audience. As you move between the steps of creating nail art (from filler to file, file to polish, etc) additional video ads are played. The frequency of these advertisements could make it difficult for children, and even adults, to stay engaged with the app.
Screenshots of Acrylic Nails!:
Pixalate’s Trust and Safety Advisory Board was created to bring in individuals with experience using child-directed apps in the classroom to review and assess which apps are child-directed. This manual review process serves to quality check Pixalate’s automated review process. See our full methodology for more information.
This blog post published by Pixalate is available for informational purposes only and is not considered legal advice. By viewing this blog post, the reader understands and agrees that there is no attorney-client relationship between the reader and the blog publisher. The blog should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in the applicable jurisdiction(s), and readers are urged to consult their own legal counsel on any specific legal questions concerning any specific situation. The content of this blog post reflects Pixalate's opinions with respect to factors that Pixalate believes may be useful to the digital media industry. Pixalate's opinions are just that, opinions, which means that they are neither facts nor guarantees; and this blog post is not intended to impugn the standing or reputation of any entity, person or app, but instead, to report findings pertaining to mobile and Connected TV (CTV) apps.
Disclaimer: The content of this page reflects Pixalate’s opinions with respect to the factors that Pixalate believes can be useful to the digital media industry. Any proprietary data shared is grounded in Pixalate’s proprietary technology and analytics, which Pixalate is continuously evaluating and updating. Any references to outside sources should not be construed as endorsements. Pixalate’s opinions are just that - opinion, not facts or guarantees.
Per the MRC, “'Fraud' is not intended to represent fraud as defined in various laws, statutes and ordinances or as conventionally used in U.S. Court or other legal proceedings, but rather a custom definition strictly for advertising measurement purposes. Also per the MRC, “‘Invalid Traffic’ is defined generally as traffic that does not meet certain ad serving quality or completeness criteria, or otherwise does not represent legitimate ad traffic that should be included in measurement counts. Among the reasons why ad traffic may be deemed invalid is it is a result of non-human traffic (spiders, bots, etc.), or activity designed to produce fraudulent traffic.”