Review of – We Heart It a photo-sharing social media website that leans heavily on positive inspiration to attract teens social media users who want a bully-free social media existence.
Visually appealing and easy to use… We Heart It has a simple, yet elegant platform that makes it easy for anyone to sign up. In a nutshell, here’s how We Heart It works… Simply create a profile using an email address or other social media account (facebook, Google+ or Twitter) and you’re free to begin posting, liking and tagging pics to your account and “following” (a la Twitter) other users with similar interests. Think of it as Tiger Beat for teens and young women or “Pinterest Light.”
Ranah Edelin, CEO of We Heart It created a “bully-proof” design. Commenting on posts on We Heart It isn’t allowed so the goal of We Heart It is to be a safe haven for kids from bullying while allowing for users to express their thoughts & emotions through photo-sharing and “hearts” (“likes”).
While We Heart It is not exclusive for teens, over 80% of its 25 million plus users are under 24 and 50% of those users are teens and the site does a respectable job reflecting their core demographic – under 24 females and teenage girls.
If you’re a parent reluctant about letting your teen or pre-teen join social media because of fears of potential bullying or even cyber predators, We Heart It could be the social network that gives parents peace of mind while letting their kids express themselves socially (through images) in a safe zone.
How “safe” is We Heart It for kids and young users? The “bully-proof” model of “no comments” seems like a great place to start. This model is also effective in that you can’t message other users (even mutual followers) through direct messaging or private messaging.
Content safety is another story. Searches for mature content can get a red flag that reads “Nothing Found – Content on We Heart It needs to be appropriate for the general public, and we’ve seen many users post hateful, pornographic, or explicit images associated with these search terms.” But.. I was quite easily able to find NSFW images (even XXX) and images glamorizing drug and alcohol use. Profiles can easily be set up to filter explicit content but that choice is up to the user. So, in essence, a teen could very easily “uncheck” the mature content filter and find numerous images their parents wouldn’t be thrilled about. It’s easy for another user to post an NC-17 pic and just tag it as something innocuous. We Heart It may be bully-proof but it’s not fool-proof.
The platform for We Heart It eliminates some major concerns parents have in regards to teens using social media. Parents may want to remember that We Heart It, while relatively teen-friendly, isn’t exclusively for teens.