I’m going to do a little experiment here. There is news out this week about a new YouTube competitor, called The Viddiverse, which is a video-based social network just for tweens aged 8 – 13.
I wrote last month about my daughter, who is younger than YouTube’s age limit of 13 – she desperately wants to film a video and post it to YouTube. We haven’t allowed her to do it yet. This experiment will be a 2-part post; first, I’ll review the service as I would any other new social network, and second I’ll test drive Viddiverse with my daughter this weekend and report on how safe and user-friendly it actually is.
The company’s premise is pretty straightforward. From the website:
“…unprotected access to ALL Internet videos is not healthy for our children. Kids who use “open” video sites often stumble upon material that is unsuitable for them. We decided to give kids a place where they could watch age-appropriate videos that have been viewed and approved by our expert editorial staff.”
That seems more than reasonable. Plenty of videos get past the YouTube police that I’d prefer my pre teen not be able to watch, even by accident. And the comments section on YouTube is for the most part and unmoderated wasteland.
According to Viddiverse, a child can only set up an account with the help of her parents, and even children who have an account need their parent to approve uploading videos and pictures and commenting on others’ videos. According to the company, no profanity, mean-spirited, or offensive content is allowed, including in the comments.
If you allow your child to join Viddiverse, she will have a profile page, but including any personal information, including a name, is prohibited.
The videos on the site, some of which are user generated and some from professional content creators, are organized into categories: shows, music, games, sports, entertainment, and are further ranked by number of views and upvotes.
I took a look at a bunch of the videos, and it looks like perfectly wholesome stuff. If your child is too young for YouTube, Viddiverse looks like a promising option.
Stay tuned for part two, where I’ll do a hands-on review with my daughter.
Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring child and teen internet activity.