bizEDGE NZ - Startup teaches children strategies for resisting ads and in-app purchases

Warning: This story was published more than a year ago.

Startup teaches children strategies for resisting ads and in-app purchases

Since digital marketing took off like a wildfire, online ads and in-app purchases have caused parents headaches. Children are able to make in-app purchases and opt-in to marketing campaigns without their parents’ knowledge or permission, a scenario that has made its way into the news on countless occasions. One startup aims to curb this issue.

AdzJab is a fledgling company whose goal is to ‘immunise’ children against ads and in-app purchases by teaching them to think before they click or tap.

The platform is anticipated to be a welcome relief to parents who are apprehensive to let their kids play on laptops, tablets, smartphones, or other computing devices. Even educational apps and games include these in-app purchases and advertisements, which makes it easy for a child to unknowingly accumulate a large bill at their parents’ expense.

Many apps target children to spur business. In 2009, almost half of the top selling apps targeted young children, and 80% of top-selling educational apps in the iTunes store target children.

Recognising a need for a service that trains children to avoid upsells, in-app purchases, and opt-ins, AdzJab was founded to teach youth how to think before they click or tap on an opt-in or in-app purchases.

The platform will evolve to a service that can be embedded into any app aimed at young children ages 3-7 years old. Then, AdzJab will release the code so that any developer will be able to use the code in their own apps.

Using a game-like format, AdzJab uses fake social media profiles and other environments to teach children not to engage ads.

First, the child can upload a picture of his or her favorite toy. Using ‘cutting-edge psychological methods’ enforced by the project’s psych expert, Joanne, AdzJab conditions children to avoid certain elements, thereby, certain behaviours can be learned.

In this case, children learn how to avoid in-app purchases and advertising on a psychological level that creates a permanent effect. Not only does this platform assist parents now, but, AdzJab says it will help children learn how to deal with various marketing and selling strategies for ‘the rest of their lives’.

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