What is the Jott Messenger App?

By Ashley Watters, Abshier House

Jott is a messenger app that has become widely popular among a younger audience. Available without a data plan or internet connection, this messenger app lets the user send messages both online and offline. Why is it so popular? The answer lies in the capabilities of the app. Jott offers texting functions to a younger crowd, a way for those that may be without a cellphone.

The logo for the app Jott Messenger.
Jott has gained significant popularity among young audiences with no data plan.

Available on Android and iOS platforms, the app is easily accessible. Those without a cellphone only need access to a tablet, iPod or other smart device. It is no secret that this app targets middle school users, many of whom have an iPod or iPad, but no cell phone or data plan. These young users simply need a Wi-Fi connection to download the app and then it will function with a simple Bluetooth connection. No internet is required to use the app after the initial download.

What features does this app provide for users?

  • Disappearing texts
  • Group chat
  • Unblockable messaging
  • Access to others user’s phone numbers
  • Stickers
  • Screen shot detection
  • Photos

So, how does it work? First, you have to sign up for the app. The users are grouped by school networks. In order to gain access, students must provide real names, birthdates, location, and phone number or email address. Using the social feature of student verification makes it difficult for fake users to gain access.

According to Jott.com, the messenger uses a technology known as AirChat to connect users to one another. The website defines this is an “offline mesh network” that uses Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to allow users to send messages to other users. Without an internet connection, users must be within 100 feet of each other to send and receive messages. And, the major draw for young users is that no cellphone or data plan is required.

Another feature that is capturing the attention of young audiences is the ability to use Jott at school. Jott.com encourages users to try out the messenger at school or on route to a school function. Users are also grouped by closed school networks and can find others within that network or by name. Many similar apps are banned from use in a school environment, blocking use of these messengers by geofencing, which prohibits their use near a school.

In addition, the app has vanishing text and picture functionalities. Any parent will tell you that privacy is always an issue with younger kids. The app’s ability to keep statements from being etched in stone is an alluring feature. Parents no longer need to warn that pictures and texts last forever, because with this app, they don’t.

However, this does not mean that any user can say anything they want. Unlike apps like YikYak, which feature anonymous users, young people must identify themselves with real names. Although the text may disappear, the social pressure remains and the comments posted on Jott have much the same effect that face-to-face comments do. The inability to block messages also provides a level of accountability.

What does this mean for parents? You won’t be able to monitor conversations that your child is having on Jott Messenger. However, talking to your child about appropriate communication skills goes a long way. Continue to discuss appropriate behavior for social media and other technology. This will encourage your children to consider their words, and texts, before posting.