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Preview: Comments on: Boom or Bubble? The Rise of Social Networking Websites for Kids

Comments on: Boom or Bubble? The Rise of Social Networking Websites for Kids

Exploring the World of Digital Youth

Last Build Date: Sun, 22 May 2016 22:25:41 +0000


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By: Scott

Mon, 25 Feb 2008 15:35:49 +0000

Hi Lisa, There is definitely an explosion of activity going on in the social networking / virtual worlds area for kids 12 and under. The list I posted in November, 2007 included 25 SN sites (with varying degrees of social connectivity) developed specifically for kids. Since then I have become aware of another 16 or so sites I have yet to include in that list. As for children using Facebook, the Facebook website clearly states that its site is not meant for children under 13 and has an information page stating so. However, if you were to do a search for "the class of 2014", looking for members of a high school graduating class of 2014, those kids would be in sixth grade today and mostly made up of 12 year olds. Doing such a search (and removing the university graduation classes) provides a few hits, but still, it's a little hard to tell how old these member profiles really are. MySpace has a similar warning that a user has to be at least 14 years of age to create a public profile. If you're honest about your age when signing up, the system will not allow someone under 14 to complete the registration process. If a determined underage kid is dishonest about their age, a public profile is only moments away. It's difficult to tell with any certainty how many kids ages 13 and younger are actually participating on these sites, but an informal observation tells me that younger kids, though maybe not many, are indeed using these sites.

By: Lisa Neal

Sat, 23 Feb 2008 20:02:18 +0000

Thank you for this analysis. I had heard of some of these sites but didn't realize there were so many. Are social networking communities such as Facebook being used by children as well?

By: Brian

Wed, 28 Nov 2007 00:24:04 +0000

Thanks very much for mentioning! is all about youth-generated media (photo galleries, videos and more to come soon!) so it fits into the "media literacy" row in all ages in your content segment/age matrix. Also interesting, compare how each of these social networks for kids handles safety, personal data collection, and parental consent issues. These issues are critical to any online service operating in this space. obtains parental consent at registration, moderates all content and reviews comments to make certain they are age-appropriate and its network is closed. Great post! Cheers! Brian President,

By: Christy Matte

Tue, 27 Nov 2007 18:27:54 +0000

I am looking forward to seeing more of the kids' social networking sites going beyond the "Dress up your avatar" and "decorate your room" paradigm to focusing more on learning and social issues. Great post!