As my 9 year olds become more interested in sharing media with family and friends, I have started to look into family friendly social platforms that are appropriate for 9 year olds. Just recently I received a brief demo of the family centric social platform called Kazaana (was called PixyKids). I appreciated the beautiful graphics and the ability for everyone to create their own space – and then share with family and friends. But most of all, I appreciated that the parental controls would allow me to approve every friend (or family) that my 9 year olds would invite into their space. Now that the Beta is live I can’t wait to take a test drive with my 9 year olds to learn more about Kazaana.
Below is the press release I received with more info:
“PIXYKIDS LAUNCHES FAMILY-CENTRIC SOCIAL PLATFORM IN BETA, CHANGES COMPANY NAME TO KAZAANA
Also Expands Advisory Board to Include Privacy Expert
MENLO PARK, CA, July 24, 2012 – PixyKids, an interactive and immersive social media platform where kids 6-12 can create, share with their friends and families, and have fun through their personalized digital space, announced today they are officially launching in open beta. The company also announced they will begin operating under the new company name, Kazaana, effective immediately, and that they have added Shai Samet, founder of the kidSAFE® Seal Program and a children’s privacy expert, to their board of advisors.
“Today’s open beta launch is a major milestone for Kazaana, and more importantly we’ve delivered on our mission to families by introducing the only digital platform where kids are empowered to be 100% themselves by inviting the people who are most important to them to interact and participate in experiences from their offline world through social technologies,” said Rajul Kadakia, CEO and Co-Founder of Kazaana. “We created Kazaana with the child as our center and everything we do is from their point of view. Our safe platform appeals to kids because we allow them to experiment and play with social features in a framework that makes sense to them, and it appeals to parents because it’s an extension of their child’s offline world, which supports their core values such as strengthening close relationships, child enrichment, and archiving memories,” added Michael Adair, COO and Co-Founder.
Kazaana offers a rich set of interactive features – storing and sharing of kid-curated content, text and video chat, animated 3-D avatars, and games and apps – all in a single environment that parents can trust, resulting in the most unique online experience for children, ages 6 -12 today. Kids and families will be empowered to share their interests, personalities, and moments they want to show off, ultimately creating a unique digital presence and portfolio that is curated exclusively by them and shared only with the friends and family parents approve.
How are kids protected?
- Platform is TRUSTe certified, and compliant with COPPA, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.
- Kids only interact with other Kazaana users upon parental consent.
- Parents will have the flexibility of auto-approving or approving each friend request individually.
- 3 levels of moderating content including text, photos, and videos ensuring content is age appropriate.
- Kids are encouraged to moderate their community through the feedback link persistent throughout Kazaana.
What can kids do?
- Play games and choose, customize, and animate their 3D avatar.
- Invite friends and other family members to connect with parental approval.
- Text, video chat, email, and send video messages to friends.
- Post comments, photos, and videos on a shared wall that approved friends and family can see.
- Save favorite photos, videos, and artwork to a digital portfolio, which is automatically shared with friends.
- Decorate their room to their personal style (coming soon).
- Visit friend’s rooms & check out their room, avatars, and portfolios (coming soon).
What can parents do?
- Approve each friend request through the parental dashboard or choose to auto-approve friend requests.
- Get a pulse on what their kids are proud to share through the child’s digital portfolio.
- Hold onto their kids’ personal content, photos, text, videos, self-expressions, and memories for the future.
- Feel comfortable that their kids are only hanging out with approved friends
- Empower kids to become more independent, simplifying parents’ role as the intermediary in digitally archiving memories and content.
“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, and I couldn’t be more excited to be part of their advisory board as they introduce the platform to families,” said Shai Samet, Founder, kidSAFE® Seal Program. “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.”
Headquartered in Menlo Park, CA, Kazaana (www.Kazaana.com) is an immersive social platform where families and kids ages 6-12 can interact with engaging applications and share their personal content, experiences, and growth with other family members and friends. Parents will be able to participate unobtrusively, as kids organically pull them in offering a window into their child’s growing independence. Other Kazaana features include customizable 3D avatars and backgrounds, a community wall with comments, text and video chat, email, and the ability to create a curated digital portfolio with photos and videos, all in a safe and COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act) compliant environment.
Kazaana’s Advisory Board includes Kalpesh Savla, CEO, Neova Solutions (Co-Founder, Kazaana), Altaf Shaikh, CEO ListEngage (Co-Founder, Kazaana), Ryan Steelberg, CEO/President, Brand Affinity Technologies (prior, Head of Radio, Google, Co-Founder/President, dMarc), two-time Emmy award-winning producer & CEO, Masher Media, Sherry Gunther (credits: Simpsons, Family Guy, Dexter’s Lab), John Trimble, CRO, Pandora (prior, EVP, Sales, Glam Media, SVP, Sales, Fox Interactive), Jonathan Sposato, Co-Founder/CEO Picnik (prior, Google, CEO Phatbits, Microsoft Game Studios), Brandon Barber, SVP, Marketing, KIXEYE (prior, Co-Founder/VP Marketing, Lionside, VP, Marketing, Zynga), and Shai Samet, Founder kidSAFE® Seal Program (prior, ESRB).
For more information, please visit:
Disclosure: I was hired in May to participate in a Twitter Party for PixyKids (now Kazaana). This is not a paid post, it is a press update. My words are my own.