Social media for kids

Good morning everyone,
I’m looking to create a selfhosted social media instance for my kids and their friends. The idea of allowing my kids to have their own facebook account doesn’t please me.
I know that most of the apps available didn’t have this in mind. For this instance, the most important things are :

  • All the content of the instance remains private, no federation needed or allowed, only the admin can make things public.
  • Ease of use : the ability for the admin to disable some features.
  • Basic chat features, may be video calls.
  • May be an android app or a pwa app would be very helpfull.

I’m trying some of the available apps in the catalog. Your advice would be helpful.

I read that in Germany this school was using Matrix/Synapse without federation for their students. But if what you want is an alternative to facebook, maybe Movim or Misskey are more suitable?

I have never used Misskey, but the aesthetics look like could be appealing to young people.

But my first option would be Movim. It let’s you post, comment, and uses xmpp for IM.

If you are looking for a social media, like twitter, look for any activitypub tools (pleroma is quite lightweight if I remember correctly).
If you want text/audio chat, Matrix or XMPP are what you are looking for (I prefer Synapse+Element for Matrix, but XMPP is already present in YunoHost and you can add Converse as client (but it does not work perfectly for me).

All of these tools are made for federation, but it can be disabled.

Without federation, there is also HumHub, but I never tried it.

Thanks @punkrockgirl @Mamie for the advice.

  • misskey : I’ve installed it and looks nice. But I can’t find how to disable the federation. I will ask in the misskey forum.
  • movim : I’ll install it tonight, it’s gui is quite simple, that’s a good point.
  • pleroma : will also test it tonight.
  • synapse / element / matrix : I already tried it and it is more complicated to what I need. I will check it again.
  • xmpp : never worked in my server, I stopped trying to fix it.

Will give you feedback

i upvote misskey (is very cute and i follow some very nice people on there) and downvote pleroma (is the house of dozens of fash and bigots of all sorts).

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Have a look at Mattermost. I have started using it in my class. Easy to use for chat, sharing images etc. Voice calling was introduced recently, still in beta, though. Possible to integrate Jitsi Video calls. Has an app for both android and ios. Runs on low-end servers.

I also found Synapse/Matrix/Element too complicated last time I checked. Humhub has no app, so non-tech people won’t use it, not sure about Friendica.

Would be interested hearing your results!

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  • misskey : still on top of the list.
  • movim : didn’t work correctly for me since metronome was broken in my server.
  • pleroma : couldn’t even login
  • hubzilla : doesn’t have a dedicated app but can run a pwa app.
  • mattermost : I used it a year ago and… forgot about it. Installing it now.
  • synapse : clearly not for my use case

I ‘ll continue the testing and next week I’ ll propose them to the kids and see what they like

You could check out manyverse too. It seem to me that it is a nice one for kids.

Let’s also consider Rocket.Chat for the Desktop/Mobile available clients

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Mattermost has won :sunglasses:. Ease of use, functionality, privacy. Mobile apps.
Misskey is still on the list, I will follow its evolution. The Devs told me that there is a work in progress for limiting and disabling federation. Installing misskey in private mode made it behave strangely.
Movim, what to say. It seems it is changing the way the app is working. They dropped the android app, it’s no longer available in fdroid.


Good to know, thanks for your feedback. Mattermost is also well maintained here on Yunohost. It is getting updates very fast and has been working very well so far, and the students are happy, so I will keep using it as well

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Late to the conversation, I see you already found an option - but for anyone looking for options in the future, there is also glitch-soc and Mastodon.

glitch-soc has the ability for local only postings. And both of them would have the ability to turn of federation via the LIMITED_FEDERATION_MODE option.

And there are mobile apps too.