A Facebook alternative for kids between the ages of 8 and 13 will be launching next week. This new social networking site, Everloop, is much like the actual Facebook site, with a few parent-friendly exceptions.
Perhaps the best thing about Everloop is that it requires parental approval to join. Parents are also able to choose to be notified about certain things that their children do on the site. Features such as instant messaging and friend suggestions can also be monitored, or even restricted by parents. Everloop contains many of the same features as Facebook such as photos, the “Like” option, groups, games, videos and even the option to change the background of your page. The site is maintained by the company to make sure that inappropriate behavior is not occurring. Everloop is even available to be used in schools because it complies with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), a law that prohibits websites from collecting information from children under the age of 13 without parental consent. Children currently using Facebook under the age of 13 are able to create an account by simply lying about their birthday.
This new social media site is ideal; it allows children to be subjected to the world of social media without compromising their safety and privacy. Children can interact with their friends without parents worrying about them being exposed to some of the racy and inappropriate content that can be found on Facebook. I do wonder what is stopping older people that could be dangerous to children from signing up. How can the site actually know you are between the age of 8 and 13? There has to be some kind of prevention of this, otherwise it could be an easy target to pedophiles. We’ll have to see how the site runs when it has been active for a little while.
Children these days are very picky about what is “cool,” especially if they learn that the site is monitored by their parents. Everloop as been successful in convincing investors and partners of its worth, but the real test is kids. It’s tough to say whether kids will catch on to it, but social media sites are addicting and if Facebook can catch on, I’m sure Everloop will soon become a tween trend.