Mood based data use settings

Teens are often highly sophisticated digital users who manage several accounts online. They adapt the way they present themselves, communicate with others and what they share depending on the context of the app or the channels they stream content on. However, handling such onlife complexity can become overwhelming. Poor management of content and data sharing can also be insecure. How can a social sharing app help teens to develop healthy and safe content and data sharing habits across different communication channels?
Product Context

Loco is a fun image-sharing mobile app which allows people to share images, videos and AR masks directly to friends via messages or to an ephemeral feed made up of people near them and selected brands.

In order to provide the service, Loco is powered by some of the following data:

  1. Loco’s innovative camera offers special filters and augmented reality effects which utilise facial recognition technology. Using these features helps to train their algorithm.
  2. Loco tracks your location in the background and store a record of places you frequently visit to enable them to notify you of content created nearby which you might like including posts by friends, people you might like and selected businesses.
  3. Loco builds proactive educational signposting and indicators to teens about settings. Loco has special default settings for teens and protects sensitive information from public audiences.
  4. Content you send to friends or post to Loco's feed is visible to your followers for just 24 hours. It is also stored for you in a private archive indefinitely.

Problem & Opportunity

Displaying different facets of our interests, identities and lives online allows us to express ourselves and connect with people.

Communicating through different channels means people need to think about what they share but also how they share it and with whom.

As the number of services people use daily keeps on increasing and our digital interactions become more complex, apps need to find ways to make sure managing our online channels doesn’t become a cognitive load, communication burden, a source of anxiety or a threat to people’s privacy and safety.

How might we...

...build services that allow teens (and adults) to be healthy and secure through easy management of their content and data sharing habits?

Design Features
Micromanaging communication through mood profiles

Loco allows people to communicate with a wide range of audiences, from public to private, work related to family related relationships, long-time friends to just strangers with common interests. Every time people interact with different groups or through different channels, they adapt the way they share content and personal information based on the nature of what they want to share. A set of profiles is loaded on the splash screen from which Teens can select the one that fits their current state of mind.

It uses AR masks to define teens moods, therefore inferring what type of content they are most likely to share and want to see.

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Design Features
Mood based sharing preferences

Once chosen, the preset preferences are used by the app to adapt things like: contacts you see first, how long your posts will be seen, the geographical area in which they can be seen, the contacts that can or can’t see your posts and the content of your feed.

Depending on the mood, Loco suggests various settings that teens are free to adjust & customise to fit their needs. Loco helps teens filter the type of content they share with whom based on its nature.

Such a system allows to recognise the diversity, complexity and nuanced way which people communicate with different groups while alleviating them from the tasks of micromanaging every interaction.

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Design Features
Adapting data use and sharing preferences depending on people’s wellbeing

Now if you were to choose a mood that you’ve set up for the days where you feel down, the app will suggest people you’ve pre-selected as close to you to let them know. This can help teens manage their emotions and communication easily without overthinking who is going to see what they are posting every time, regret over-sharing during a low moment, or risk the potential to be bullied by peers.

Tying up moods to the way teens share and receive content allows Loco to be mindful of people’s mental health and wellbeing. One of the most powerful pre-settings tied up to mood profiles is how it might rearrange your feed.

In default mode, your feed can be populated with content trending across the app and ads based on your overall behavioral data.

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Design Features
Adapting content curation & recommendations depending on people’s wellbeing

In default mode, your feed can be populated with content trending across the app and ads based on your overall behavioral data.

If a low mood profile is selected, the feed will be curated to first show you posts from closest relatives or hand-picked profiles. It will display ads offers that might help someone get through a hard time, such as a meditation app. These features can help reduce people’s anxiety by not overwhelming them with broadly generated content but rather allowing them to stay connected to friends and family through familiar and mutually supportive channels.

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Next steps

Develop services that recognise inferred preferences based on behavioural data to be mindful of people’s welfare on a daily basis and not only of their average state over time?

Develop cross-channel dashboards that allow people to review what others can see about them and to easily change their mind when it comes to data sharing preferences?