A children-centric social media platform, PixyKids, is rolling out its open beta version and rebranding the site Kazaana as of Tuesday morning.
The Silicon Valley-based company, with a focus on children ages six to 12 (and their families) hopes that the new name and open invitation to all families with young children will engage a wider audience while keeping the young ones on a safe platform.
The company secured $4 million from ATA Ventures and angels this March.
While parent may be hesitant, for good reason, to let their young children play and share on a social network, Kazaana has taken a lot of initiative to create a family-friendly and safe environment where kids get to be part of the sharing process.
Kazaana is using the kidSAFE Seal program, which is a new, beta, seal of approval that reviews and certifies the safety practices of children-friendly websites and apps. KidSAFE looks at kid-targeted games, virtual worlds, mobile apps for big brands ranging from Cartoon Network and National Geographic to Pearson.
"Kazaana's mission from the beginning was to create a vibrant and safe digital playground for kids to meet, play and share with one another," said Shai Samet, Founder, kidSAFE(R) Seal Program, in a statement. "Today's kids are looking to develop their independence both traditionally offline and online in ways previous generations never have, and Kazaana represents a meaningful and safe online personal and social interaction, helping families establish a new dimension of sharing offline experiences digitally to strengthen relationships for generations to come."
But a single seal may not be enough verification for a parent so Kazaana has also been TRUSTe certified as well as become compliant with COPPA, the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act.
Unlike a parent's Facebook page or LinkedIn account, kids only interact with other Kazaana users upon parental consent and there are three levels of moderation (text, photos and video) that content goes through to assure age appropriateness.
What parents and kids can find on the network
Kazaana is filled with games where kids can choose, customize, and animate their 3D avatar.
Parents can invite friends and other family members to connect with their approval.
Users are able to text, video chat, email, and send video messages to friends as wells as save photos to share in their circle of connections.
Rather than sharing all those photos, video and comments about your child on Facebook, where they are not really able to be a part of the conversation, Kazaana is trying to safely fold these valuable members of the family (and usually the topic of the conversation) into the social media sharing environment.
Kazaana is not the first child-inclusive social network, there is Club Penguin and Moshi Monsters in the similar space as well.
The site is currently free, but Kazaana is looking at eventually monetizing the service through subscriptions, virtual goods and sponsorships as well as other means.