Science

Lego launches a social network for brickheads under 13

Lego launches a social network for brickheads under 13

LEGO Life is available now on Android and on iOS in the U.S., the UK, Canada, France, Germany, Denmark, Austria, and Switzerland. Then again, the kids who are most likely to sign up for Lego Life are probably huge Lego fans to begin with, so they'd naturally engage with the app.

Families have another child-friendly option with this safe social network that has been tailor-made for kids.

And the arrival of LegoLife happens to coincide with the news that Club Penguin, a social network for kids launched in 2005, is shutting down. LEGO Master Builders will share creations and issue a variety of building challenges within LEGO Life to encourage building and sharing among the community.

Lego keyboard has also been incorporated within the Lego Life app, which allows users to comment on posts using Lego emojis only - no text comments are allowed inside the app.

Needless to say, since Lego has built a platform where it will potentially gather millions of users, the company also markets its own products like Lego Batman or Lego Star Wars, among others to prospective buyers, which are kids - also their users.

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Anyone over 13 can sign up with their own email address, but kids 13 and under need to be signed up via a parent's email.

To help keep things rated G, Lego says it employs "highly trained moderators" to vet every post and comment on the network to make sure they're age appropriate. "We want them to have a place to share that with other kids".

Other than that, once you've created your avatar, you get to personalize your newsfeed: so the topics and groups you follow will be displayed once you open the app. User names are generated for kids, with silly three-word mixes, like "ElderPowerfulBelt" or "ChairmanWilyDolphin" churned out.

Lego has been very cautious about how it applies tech and apps to the brand, more purposely adding those features than other toy makers that were faster to embrace mobile tech and apps-although often to very mixed results. Commenting is tightly controlled and pre-moderated while emoji comments are post-moderated, keeping communication simple, universal, positive and fun.

The app, which is free for Android and Apple devices, is available now in the United States and Britain and is due to arrive in New Zealand by the end of the year. Imagine a database for all the bricks you have, and recommendations on what to build from Lego-friend master builders.