As I continue to research tween social media sites I keep finding more tween networks that are either new or relaunched. Here are two of the kid-friendly social networks I uncovered this week.
WhatsWhat.me was just launched in January and it looks like it would appeal to younger tweens. The site has some new “facial recognition” technology that helps keep the site safe and prevent someone from hacking into a kid’s profile.
- Only for kids – Webcam and facial recognition software is used for login. Photos are encrypted and stored for authentication.
- Protected content – The site claims they don’t use or sell user activity. Content is not searchable outside of the site.
- Professional moderators – Trained monitors review site content and activity.
- Community rules – Users are reminded of the rules and can be blocked for unacceptable behavior.
I found it interesting that WhatsWhat.me only allows kids to “friend” within their grade, one grade above and one grade below. Parental approval is needed for any other “friending.” I can see how this type of control would appeal to parents, but it could get a little frustrating for kids who have siblings and friends with siblings. We should not teach younger kids to be wary of some kids just because they are a couple years older.
This WhatsWhat.me’s promo video gives parents a preview of how kids interact on the site:
Imbee is a kids social network that has been around for a few years and recently decided to relaunch with a more robust privacy settings. Common Sense media reports that Imbee is best for kids over 12. From my brief experience with Imbee I tend to agree with their age rating. Right on the home page there was a Mindless Behavior video where the boys were doing a little bump n’ grind with Ciara.
It’s also worth noting that the Federal Trade Commission fined Imbee in 2008 for collecting personal information about more than 10,000 kids without properly notifying parents. According to recent statements on the site, they’ve updated their policies to comply with COPPA. The relaunch is their latest step to clean up their image.
Imbee’s promo videos appeal directly to the older tween/ young teen target audience: