Disney announced on June 30 the launch of a new family-friendly app that serves as a social media platform for kids where they can view and share short-form video content.
Called Disney LOL, the app available for iOS and Android features curated content that is safe and appropriate for children, while allowing them to feel like they too have their own social network account.
Video content continues to be the way of the social media future, but parents may not want their kids using Facebook's Live feature or Snapchat just yet. Disney is making sure it has the kid demographic down when it comes to video apps by bringing trusted Disney content to the hands of these users.
Disney LOL features short-form videos suitable for kids and Disney fans in general. The curated content featured in the app includes GIFs, Vines and short-form videos of up to 2 minutes.
The subject matter comes from a variety of Disney content, including the Disney Channel and Disney XD, as well as the Star Wars and Marvel franchises.
Once the user downloads the app, they are first asked to enter in their age and then presented with a brief hands-on tutorial that shows how the platform works. The user simply swipes to the left to see a new post, which includes things like memes and funny GIFs starring characters in classic Disney animated films and the company's TV series.
The user can also tap on the "Disney LOL" icon to be directed to a menu featuring emoji icons for different categories like Fun, Fail, Cute, Food and Throwback. There is also a search bar to look for a specific video.
Once in a particular category, the user can "heart" a post they like, swim left for the next post, right to go to the previous one, and tap on the icon on the right to share.
Instead of featuring a news feed or having the ability to share directly from the app to friends, the user is more limited to being just exposed to the curated content. Users also cannot upload their own GIFs or short videos.
However, the user can also share the content to their Facebook or to Facebook Messenger, or as a text or email or save it directly to their device. By eliminating these typical social media features, parents can rest assure that their child isn't getting into trouble by communicating with someone they don't know or is being exposed to inappropriate content.
"We're creating content for digitally native families every day, and these new experiences offer Disney stories and characters in formats that are familiar to our audience," said Michael Hundgen, director of Content Strategy and Editorial at Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media.
"Our audience engages when we interpret classic Disney stories in new ways, with bite-sized, shareable pieces of content relatable to all ages. ... With Disney LOL, we're making it possible for fans to enjoy safe and trusted Disney content in the most accessible way."
Disney LOL serves as an extension and a content hub for Disney's other social media pages such as their Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest accounts that collectively has 1.15 billion followers.
The company also launched a Disney LOL portal for the web where users can view content, as well as a new Mickey Video app to continue to provide videos to its users.