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Lego Creates a Safe Social Network for Kids The mobile app includes building challenges, artistic activities and quizzes.

By Stephanie Mlot

This story originally appeared on PCMag

Lego

Most social networks don't permit users under the age of 13. But Lego Life is not most social networks.

The mobile app invites children 5 to 13 years old to join creative challenges in a safe online environment.

In an effort to keep real identities hidden, Lego Life encourages users to create an alter ego: pick a username and accessorize a minifigure or minidoll to represent you.

Available for iOS and Android, the free program requires a Lego ID account, as well as a parent or guardian's permission.

The app takes more than a few cues from adult-centric social media services such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram; kids can follow other Lego fans, like and comment on posts and share their own content. But Lego Life also caters to its young audience by providing building challenges, artistic activities and quizzes.

"The launch version of Lego Life is only the beginning," according to the company website. "We'll be adding more and more features as the months go by, so it will just get better and better."

New features like the Lego Keyboard -- a visual language for fans to communicate with colorful emojis and images. Simply download the latest version of the Lego Life app to express yourself with minifig heads, animals, foods and more.

Introduced nearly 70 years ago as a children's toy, Lego's interlocking plastic bricks have become a global subculture of movies, video games, competitions and amusement parks aimed at kids and adults.

Early this month, the company returned to its youthful roots with the launch of a new building set -- focused on introducing children to the basics of programming. On display at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Lego Boost combines building blocks with sensors, motors and app control to let kids build robots that respond to stimuli.

Stephanie Mlot

Reporter at PCMag

Stephanie began as a PCMag reporter in May 2012. She moved to New York City from Frederick, Md., where she worked for four years as a multimedia reporter at the second-largest daily newspaper in Maryland. She interned at Baltimore magazine and graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania (in the town of Indiana, in the state of Pennsylvania) with a degree in journalism and mass communications.

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