Digital Wellbeing App for Children Launched by BBC

22 September 2019

The BBC has launched its first app aimed at children to help with their wellbeing, monitoring how young people interact with friends and family online and via messaging apps.  The new app, called Own It, uses an AI system to evaluate the mood of the child so it can offer advice or encourage them to talk to someone.


The aim of the app is to offer help and support for children, particularly if they receive an upsetting message or are asked to share sensitive information about themselves.

Alice Webb, director of BBC Children, said the app would be a helping hand to guide children towards good habits from the beginning of them using a smartphone.  It is also designed to help avoid or deal with some of the problems that children encounter online.

The app uses a special software keyboard that appears when messages are typed and looks at what is said, and the language being used.  It also had content that helps children look at things like time spent online and gives tips about responsible online interaction.

The aim of the app is to get children to talk to parents and guardians about good and bad experiences online but doesn’t including a reporting system for adults to monitor phone use.

Experts say one of the strengths is that it protects the privacy of the child rather than being another way for parents to monitor what children are doing.

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