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 atratings.pixalate.com.
This post takes a look a mobile app that's popular on both the Google Play & Apple App Stores. Popularity is measured by the number of downloads in the Google Play store and the number of user reviews in the Apple store. 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).
Crystal's take: Fun, entertaining and appealing for kids
COPPA factors used to determine audience
Toca Life World is a game where you can “create your own world and play out any story you like” according to the app store description. The visual content, subject matter and animation would appeal to children under 13. The app includes computer-animated images of children in educational, home, and park environments. The app store description asks, “Want to give grandma a wild hairstyle? Bring a sloth to the Skate Park? Or just hang out with friends?” This Google version of this app is in the Google Teacher Approved program which, according to Google, means that “teachers and children’s education and media specialists recommend” it as a “high-quality app for kids.”
The music and sound effects during the trailer and gameplay in the app are childlike with sounds of kids playing that bolsters imagination.
The incentive of the game is to create your own world. The game allows you to play out any story you like in any location within the game. Kids will love this because it is like a virtual playroom to play make believe while building new environments where they can express their creativity. It is not challenging or frustrating which makes it an attractive game for younger children.
The content rating for this app is E for Everyone in Google Play and 4+ in the Apple store. There are numerous reviews that demonstrate that children under 13 use the app. A review from September of 2022 states “..my daughter loves this game, since she was 3 years old. She is 6 now…..” Another review from November of 2022 said “... my ten year old daughter plays with this app…”
Screenshots of Toca Life World:
About Pixalate’s Trust & Safety Advisory Board
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.”