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 mobile app (1 million+ downloads) 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.
The gameplay screenshots for Temple Run show that the content is visually directed to a mixed audience that is child-directed based on the animated characters and activities in the game. It is challenging and engaging with an endless runner craze with the use of tilting and swiping on the phone. Players use effortless controls to keep their character running for as long as attainable. As your character is running there are obstacles such as big tree roots, attacking monkeys, and fire traps that you have to either jump or slide under. After playing the game you find yourself trying to get further with every change and fail. Even though it sounds simple it is a little difficult, but quite habit-forming and fun to play. It is an adventurous survival high-score game. This game tests players' reflexes. The description in the “about this game" section of the Play Store states, “treasure hunting adventure…. navigate a maze. All your friends are playing it, can you beat their high scores?” The subject matter would suggest that this game appeals to children and adults.
The incentive of the game is to get away with stolen relics with demon monkeys chasing you to get the protected item back. When the player is running down various paths, you collect coins where you can unlock different players as your runner to run even faster.
The game is rated E for Everyone in the Google play store and 9+ in the Apple Store. There is an age gate but you are still able to play the game. The app tells you that if you are under 16 they do not collect personal information from you. There is evidence that children use or have used the app. A review posted in December 2020 in the Google Play store says, “My daughter has been playing it for a while.” The parent did not specify the age in the review.
Another review without age specification in the play store posted in March of 2023 says, “I played this all through my childhood.”
Screenshots of Temple Run
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.”