New Mobile App Rating System

New Mobile App Rating System

As a parent you’re likely familiar with the MPAA ratings for films, the ESRB ratings for video games, and even the voluntary TV’s content-rating system.  These systems help parents make the decision on whether or not certain media is appropriate for their children. Until now, there hasn’t been a similar system in place for the apps market.

CTIA Mobile Application Rating System with ESRB

With smartphones in the hands of so many youngsters, Verizon Wireless, looked for a way to assist parents by becoming the first mobile carrier to implement the freshly minted mobile app rating system on all apps available via their Verizon Apps Store. Developed by the CTIA and Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), these ratings are similar to those already assigned to video games so they have a familiar feel. However, app ratings go beyond content; they take into account the app’s functionality, and more importantly, its privacy among other things.

New app rating system graphic

New app rating system graphic – Source:

The newly implemented Apps Rating System’s 3 Key Components include:

  • Age Rating:  This rating designates the suitability for Everyone, Everyone 10+, Teen, Mature, etc.
  • Content Descriptors: These highlight elements which likely triggered the given rating and which may be of interest or concern. These can include designations such as Blood, Nudity, Violence, etc.)
  • In-app Elements: This rating revers to the apps functionality which may be of interest or concern. This includes possible exposure to user-generated and unfiltered content, revealing a user’s location to others, or the 3rd party sharing of user-provided personal information.

In addition to the mobile app rating system adoption, Verizon Wireless was the first wireless provider to include exclusive age-appropriate Content Filters to customers at no additional cost which allows users to regulate access to content.

Implementation of the CTIA Mobile Application Rating System with ESRB

Additional carriers will be implementing the ratings system within their app stores as well. AT&T, Microsoft, Sprint, T-Mobile USA, U.S. Cellular and Verizon Wireless have all indicated a willingness to participate and many are working on upgrading their technology to include this new rating system.

More About the New App Rating System

Find the CTIA Mobile Application Rating System with ESRB specs and FAQ at the CTIA Consumer Info website.