Tech Made Simple

Hot Topics: Heartbleed: What you Need to Know | Best iPhone 5 Battery Case | Best Bluetooth Headset | What's Draining Your Android Battery?

Choose It

author photo

Safe Social Networking Sites for Kids & Tweens

posted by Heidi Leder on March 14, 2012 in Family and Parenting, Kids, Computer Safety & Support, Guides & Reviews, Social Networking :: 9 comments

While it may seem easier to ignore social networking sites and hope they’ll go away, they won’t. The age of social media and openly sharing information to find others with shared interests beyond geography is here to stay. While navigating tween and teen years can be precarious, it’s equally important these days to learn the process of “finding” and defining oneself in the online realm as well.

The best social media sites for kids and tweens (ages 7-13) adhere to the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which regulates how much personal information sites can ask from kids under 13 years old, among other things. Like good kids online gaming sites, most of these sites require a parent account, or for parents to verify that they are who they say they are via a one-time credit card verification (typically requiring a $1 fee). A good step toward keeping your kids safe online.

With the popular Togetherville site shutting its doors after being acquired by Disney last year, many kids and parents are looking for a similarly safe-yet-fun place to hangout online and practice savvy social media skills. Here are some social networking sites for kids and tweens that give them some freedom to explore the social media realm while giving parents the control to monitor and guide their process:

giantHellogiantHello 

Previously called FaceChipz, giantHello is a social gaming network for tweens that comes very close to mimicking the social networking look-and-feel of Facebook with similar profile pages and layouts.

Once you “friend” another tween, you can leave comments, send private messages, join groups, update your status, upload photos and more. Users even have a news feed and can follow tween celebrity Twitter feeds.

Kids need to share invites with their friends in real life via email or by printing out an invitation code to “friend” them on the site, so everything is connected through the “real world.”

To establish an account, parents must verify their identity via the usual credit card charge ($0.01), or via the last four digits of their social security number. The gaming experience is similar to what you find on Facebook.

ImbeeImbee

Imbee is quickly becoming a hip and trendy place for tweens to hang out, with a focus on popular media and entertainment with imbeeRadio and tween celebrity news in their imbee Wrap Up.

Imbee also has its own web series and specials like Schooled by Andrew Bosch, Mindless Behavior, The Donkey Boyz, and The Titus Show. Tweens can upload photos and videos, chat with other imbee friends, create their own group or join a FanZone.

A parent must open an account, and they control the security settings to ensure age-appropriate parameters for the child’s online activities on the imbee site. Only parents and friends can see anyone’s zone, or profile blog, and kids must know another tween’s imbeename in order to add him or her as a friend. Imbee is free to use, but requires a $1 parental credit card verification. The sweet spot for this site is the upper range of tweenhood: closer to 10 years old and up.

KidsocialKidsocial

Kidsocial defines itself as a social entertainment network for kids and tweens to connect online with “real world” friends. It has the sleekest look of these social media networks, with the presence of relevant brands and branded entertainment pages. This of course, may also qualify KidSocial as one of the coolest social media networks for tweens.

In addition to the usual social network activities, while on KidSocial, tweens can challenge each other in online games, watch streaming content from Hulu, YouTube or Grooveshark via special family-friendly filters. Which again, raises the cool factor.

KidSocial is COPPA compliant, with users under 13 years old being tethered and monitored by a parent account. Each user receives a friendship code to share with a real life friend to connect on KidSocial, and both sets of parents have to approve the friendship online. Users older than 13 don’t require parent approval, but parents can enable it for teenagers if they prefer.

KidzVuzKidzVuz

KidzVuz is a social network site where tweens can share their own video reviews about the toys, movies, books, songs - almost anything - they like or use. The site has an integrated webcam so kids can conveniently record a review without leaving their computer. Like a modern fan club community assimilator, KidzVuz gives kids the freedom to safely stay anonymous yet connect with other kids with similar taste. Users can complete missions or earn badges for posting reviews or answering surveys.

KidzVuz is designed for the under 13 year-old crew, but does require the ability to read and record a video, so the sweet spot would be about 8-10 year olds. Parental oversight is required for each account, and each video is approved before posting by a trusted team of moms.

ScuttlepadScuttlepad

A great social media starter network, Scuttlepad gives 6 to 11 year olds exposure to a social media network with parental approval, but no adults allowed as members. Kids can join groups and post photos or videos, and even print out “trading cards” to hand to friends in real life to get them to join them on Scuttlepad. Each photo is manually reviewed before posting, and kids can only communicate with others through a list of predefined and approved words in a format that teaches how to build a sentence one word at a time. Using these preset words negates the possibility of negative or a cyberbully behavior.

The site is better suited for 6-9 year old kids as a clean first social media experience, but the graphics and limited options for interaction with others, mean that kids may grow out of it quickly. Scuttlepad is free to use.

WhatsWhat.meWhatsWhat.me

WhatsWhat.me takes security a step further than the other sites, requiring a webcam for kids to log in with facial recognition technology, and only allows kids to communicate with others in their grade. A human actually double checks that the “MeKey” facial profile matches the submitted age each time the account signs in. The site offers all of the social media main activities: messaging, friending, surfing their friends’ profiles and joining groups.

Tweens can communicate with others they don’t know on the site, but they can’t “friend” someone outside of their grade level unless a parent approves it. WhatsWhat.me costs $4 a month or $30 for the year and is geared toward 7-13 year olds.

Subscribe to the Techlicious Daily Email!

Get the Techlicious Guide to Great Photography as your FREE gift!

Discussion loading

gravatar

Twitter Chat about Online Safety Today 2pm ET

From Cheryl Shoults on March 15, 2012 :: 9:59 am

Thank you - I didn’t even realize most of these existed! There’s a twitter chat this afternoon at 2pm ET (#securechat) about keeping kids safe online & when using mobile phones. I’m sure people on the chat would love to hear your input.

Reply

gravatar

Safe Social Networking on BunkiMunki.com

From Merle Bessner on March 15, 2012 :: 10:57 am

Check out BunkiMunki.com - the social network that provides “Tweens” (ages 7-15) with a unique opportunity to navigate a voyage of personal growth as they mature into their teenage years.
Kids can join BunkiMunki™ for free and along with customizing their personal alias and home there age relevant activities like journal writing, music creation, earning badges, and playing games. The website offers a Premium Membership allowing kids unlimited access to all social media features including B-Mail, Chat, virtual shopping at the Emporium and much more.
The site is COPPA compliant and is certified by Privo.

Reply

gravatar

This is something new. Didn't

From Richard L. Rosenbaum on May 20, 2012 :: 4:37 pm

This is something new. Didn’t know that there are actually social sites exclusively for children. I think I’ll be checking this out myself as well.

Reply

gravatar

tween to teen social network

From Momerator on April 15, 2012 :: 9:37 am

Isis So Silly (http://IsisSoSilly.com) is a social network for both tweens and teens. The site is owned and moderated by me, “Momerator”, but my daughter Isis, co-owns and promotes the network with a positive attitude. She had the idea of being the Internet iCarly-esque so we decided to use this as a vehicle.

Feel free to have your kids sign up to a social network where kids tweens and teens can socialize and have a mom around to monitor it. It’s free to join grin

Reply

gravatar

Social Networking Tweens

From Adian Williams on July 25, 2012 :: 12:57 pm

These are some really great sites. Kids and Tweens enjoy socializing and I believe it is important for them to use technology. Secure sites can offer kids a place to connect with other peers without worrying about online predators or inappropriate content. Another site that is secure for young children is Kids Social Network. It is similar to Scuttlepad and Imbee because kids can chat, play games, and get help with school work. You can check it out at http://www.kidssocialnetwork.com.

Reply

gravatar

New safe social networking site

From nithy sithambaram on July 30, 2012 :: 10:02 am

Nice collection of sites and good reviews.

http://www.avotars.com, is a new social networking site, not just for children, but for everyone, with
safe features for introducing and connecting kids.

The site has some unique features, like creating a kids profile from the parents profile. The kids profile will be private, and safe,
so that no other users can view this profile, at the same time, from the kids profile, we can initiate a contact to request friends with
other profiles, and still its safer, as its not visible to friends of this contact once accepted.

There are features like, diary, where stories, and journals can be posted everyday. Schedules can be created for each day, and
can be updated by both parents, and the network connections, such as a Nanny or a child carer. This will help parents to know
about their child’s every day activity.

We can also create profiles for personals, and others too, and lots more features are being developed to make this site a leading
site in future.

The website is in beta version, as lot more developments are being considered,
and its me who have developed this site, and not funded by anyone.

Reply

gravatar

friendly

From twoauna on September 04, 2012 :: 2:45 pm

be nice to others and chatt and love

Reply

gravatar

hello

From patsy aschleman on November 07, 2012 :: 5:40 pm

im patsy aschleman

Reply

gravatar

Kids social network

From iphone spy app on September 19, 2013 :: 3:21 pm

It’s a very helping list for me to educate my kids about the social media websites. I’d recommend my kids to use them and other ones too,

Reply

© 2014 Techlicious LLC. :: Home | About | Meet the Team | Sponsorship Opportunities | Newsletter Archive | Contact Us :: Terms of Use | Privacy Policy

site design: Juxtaprose