While the social networking world is dominated by Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Goggle+, there are other social networks out there targeted for specific audiences and age groups. One example is FamilyLeaf, which was featured here in TigerStartups a while back. Now there is PixyKids, a startup social network only meant for children ages 6-12 and their families, from Silicon Valley. They launched into open beta today under a new name, Kazzana. The reason for the name change is that PixyKids was considered “too girlie” and the fact it is more than just a platform for kids to socialize with others online. The staff at Kazzana is very experienced as they worked on companies such as HP, Google, and Glam Media.
Their advisory board also added a new member, Shai Samet, the kidSAFE Seal Program’s founder. The kidSAFE Seal Program approves and certifies safety practices of websites and apps designed for children. Games, mobile apps, and virtual worlds are also among the projects they approve to be used publicly. The program is also filled with an experienced group of advisors that worked in Masher Media, Zynga, Jive, Pandora, and others.
Kazaana now joins Club Penguin and Moshi Monsters as competing kid social networks. All of them are able not just play games with others online, but text/video chat, share art, photos, and videos with other members. They also can personalize their own room and avatar at a later date. Kazzana’s main goal according to CEO Rajul Kadakia is that they want kids to express themselves in a comfortable space along with trying new stuff out in a private setting full of other friends and family. Parents can control security such as friend requests and what their kid can share to the network. The open beta is free for everyone to join, but there are plans to have subscription-based goods sometime in the future.
More social networks designed for children is a good thing especially because Facebook can be sometimes a bit daunting for them. Communicating online with the same age group rather than older folks is also a good way to come up with new friends. With the amount of kid-based social networks out there, I wonder what the giants like Facebook and Twitter would do to cater to that age group such as a division only designed for them. We will see if they decide on something like that if these startup networks like Kazaana continue to be successful.
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