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Teens can now message each other without a data plan…Really?

Think of all those younger teens out there with iPods and iPads who don’t have money for data plans (service from mobile phone operators) who would just love to have the ability to message their friends from their devices.

Well now they can. A new App called Jott has exploded in the States. According to a recent article on Tech Crunch co-founder Jared Allgood tells us the app has over ‘half a million active users in March, up from 150,000 active users previous’ and plans to add ‘15,000 to 20,000 users a day’. App Annie confirms this and the app has made it onto the Top 75 apps most used apps in the US.

Now you’re forgiven for scratching your head at this moment in time and thinking ‘But Wayne how can you send messages via one of these devices without using a mobile operator or data plan. Or money?” My puzzler was sore too.…


So here’s the lowdown.

The Jott App works by using whats known as a ‘mesh network’. It operates on Bluetooth or using a router that can span 100 feet of users, using the trademarked ‘Airchat’ feature.

Even with the massive growth of other messaging apps such as Facebook messenger and WhatsApp – traditional SMS style texting is still the most popular with teens. According to Pew Internet girls send nearly 4000 text messages per month – 3, 952 on average! With boys way behind at a paltry 2,815.

As Jott operates within a closed school network, in order to get chatting with other users and exchange messages within the School network, users must create an account with their actual name, along with their real age, and verify that they go to that particular school to participate. Those trying to pose as students using fake names can be flagged by other users and kicked off the network as one concerned Principal of a junior high school found out when she was kicked off the school network.

Similar to Snapchat – Jott also offers disappearing messages and screenshot detection. It’s easy to see how the Jott App might just catch on this side of the Atlantic with other Apps such as Kik or WhatsApp requiring a dataplan or at least wifi to function. Jott App is certainly filling the void for those younger teens to be able to text. With Jott teens also don’t need to know each others numbers – those at the same schools can just look each other up via the closed system and start to chat. Unlike iMessage, the Jott App works on both iOS and android. Allgood calls the app ‘the equivalent to passing notes in class for the digital era’.

Yik Yak is being banned from schools as we speak. But like, it’s only one of many to come. We’re chasing our tails with the speed new apps are arriving. Time to focus on adult guidance that inspires teens, and educating children and teens on innovative ways to use the innovative apps they love, to get ahead.

If you’d like more practical tips on how to protect yourself online and improve your Online Reputation grab a copy of my book..


Posted By Wayne Denner

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Wayne Denner shares his knowledge & expertise on leading tech industry blog.

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