Alleroed, Denmark – In a new consumer survey conducted by 100 Things, 70% of parents declared in-app purchases as inappropriate for small children. Parents expressed unequivocal dislike for being misled by apps advertised as ‘free’ when key parts of the game are only unlocked later by paying more money.

Many apps are specifically designed for children to play without their parents sometimes. In-app purchasing opportunities directly pressure young children when their parents aren’t there to supervise. And, even when the parents are playing, constant demands for more money can spoil what would otherwise be a fun and educational family moment. As anyone who has watched commercial TV with children knows, they are highly susceptible to advertising.

100 Things, a developer of children’s apps is leading the charge for change. 100 Things has removed all third party advertising and in-app purchasing from all of its picture book and matching game apps.

100 things has called upon other developers to do the right thing too. “Responsible developers need to charge upfront for children’s apps. No one wants a six-year-old to inadvertently order expensive upgrades or be able to link to social media sites that may not be safe places for kids. Do young children really need to be exposed to more advertising? Let’s help them enjoy our apps without unnecessary interruptions and temptations.”

And the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has released findings that support this position. The second FTC report focused on this issue since 2011, ‘Mobile Apps for Kids: Disclosures Still Not Making the Grade’ found the following:

* 84% (56) of the apps reviewed that contained in-app purchasing were offered as “free”
* 58% of the apps reviewed contained advertising within the app, while only 15 percent disclosed the presence of advertising prior to download
* 22% of the apps contained links to social networking services, while only nine percent disclosed that fact
* 17% of the apps reviewed allow children to make purchases for virtual goods within the app, with prices ranging from 99 cents to $29.99. When information was available, indicators were not always prominent and, even if noticed, could be difficult for many parents to understand.

100 Things advocates that developers must go further than just addressing the FTC concerns about transparency. Being fair to families and ensuring the app experience is fun and enjoyable for all means eradicating in-app purchasing altogether. As the consumer study conducted by 100 Things demonstrates, the majority of parents would rather pay upfront for apps than have their young children exposed to inappropriate demands for more money while they are playing and learning.

100 Things creates Picture Books that contain stunning photographs, real sounds and amazing videos and Matching Games – all at affordable prices for families. The FTC report ‘Mobile Apps for Kids. Disclosures Still Not Making the Grade’ is available at 100 Things Apps. For more information about 100 Things, please visit 100 Things Apps online and follow us on Twitter @100Thingsapp.

100 Things
FTC report (PDF)

Based in Alleroed, Denmark, 100 Things specializes in multi-language, picture books and apps for kids. Copyright (C) 2013 Whyse ApS. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. Other trademarks and registered trademarks may be the property of their respective owners.

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