Facebook sees dollar signs in tweens

Facebook sees dollar signs in tweens

As a follow up to the prior post on Facebook's age requirements that state a user must be 13 years of age or older, that rule may be changing.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Facebook is exploring way to allow children younger than 13 years old to use the social-networking site under parental supervision.

Why?

The almighty dollar.  Facebook wants to tap in to the $50 billion a year spent by tweens. "Tweens are the most valuable demographic for Facebook," says Charles Sankowich, CEO of location-based mobile app Friendthem.com. "They are ad-friendly, game-friendly and more likely to show a lifelong brand loyalty when they are so young."

The possible parental controls supposedly under consideration by Facebook:

  • connecting children's accounts to their parents'
  • allowing parents to decide whom their kids can "friend"
  • allowing parents to determine what applications their child(ren) can use

Does that seem like enough?

I'm thinking that those controls sound like they would be great to have for kids of any age. The controls would not be sufficient for me to permit my tween to join Facebook, but I don't know that any controls would be sufficient.  Privacy concerns are a factor, for sure, but in addition, junior high seems brutal enough and navigate those rough social waters face to face is enough for both of us to handle.   Would you let your tween join with the proposed rules and controls?

 

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