Although there’s already a crowded field of messaging apps out there, Disney has just announced its own contribution: Disney Mix aimed at kids, tweens and families. It is now available on both ioS and Android devices to download for free. While the app will compete to some extent with popular messaging clients like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Snapchat and others, the goal with Disney Mix is to provide a safer alternative that’s built with the needs of kids in mind. That means the app isn’t just about chatting — it’s also about playing games, playful meme-creating features, , sharing stickers, as well as moderation tools and educational resources says Disney.
When users sign up for the app, they agree to series of community rule, including “stay safe,” respect others” and “keep it clean.” The first refers to the fact that you don’t give out personal information to people you don’t know, while the others speak to the type of content that can be shared. That is, there’s to be no bullying and no foul language.
While the app is rated as “4+” on the App Store, the concept will likely appeal the most to slightly older kids, up to pre-teens. Disney is also encouraging parents to talk to their kids about the community rules and to submit feedback if the app isn’t making the grade.
With Disney Mix, each user can create an avatar to represent them in the app by choosing from a variety of hairstyles, eye shapes, mouth shapes and other options. Users also have the option to choose an avatar representing a Disney, Disney Pixar or Star Wars character.
There are moderation capabilities in the app as well, that will see members either temporarily and permanently banned from Disney Mix for breaking any of the rules, says Disney. This is handled by a moderation team that can also be summoned at any time by clicking the “Whistle” icon in the top of the chat thread. This reports the conversation to the mod team to handle. Plus, Disney Mix users can remove people from their friends list by swiping left on their name.
In Disney Mix, friends can chat with each other, which includes sending stickers of favorite Disney characters, like Flash from Zootopia, Hank from Finding Dory and Jenny from Adventures in Babysitting, for example. Additional content in the app comes from Frozen, Monsters University, Toy Story, K.C. Undercover, Descendants and other Disney franchises. Beyond chatting with friends and family, kids can also add Disney accounts to their friends list, like Disney Channel, Disney XD and Disney Movies. These accounts will then message them with new photos and videos periodically, along with other news.
In a blog post, Chris Heatherly, senior vice president and general manager of Disney mobile games at Disney, commented: This initial launch is just the beginning—we’re already hard at work on additional features for Disney Mix, including photo and video sharing with appropriate parental involvement. So stay tuned for more!