Kids on Facebook? – Totally normal in the U.S.

Children under 13 on Facebook – theoretically an nonentity according to the Facebook terms and conditions, but it looks like we will have to get used to the idea. In the U.S. this is already the norm – according to a discussion in the LinkedIn group “Kids and Family Strategy Experts”. Many children under ten use Facebook with their parents’ approval in order to keep in touch with members of the family and friends,  but most importantly the games and the chat  are calling out to them.

The youngest Facebook users are around eight years old, the experts say, but even six-year-olds have been seen using Facebook. When doing that they usually use the accounts of their parents or older siblings. Many parents befriend their children in order to keep an eye on what they do, but teenagers don’t think that this is very cool and so they usually limit what the parents can see – or they get themselves a new account. This is the moment where we want to give you a link to a rather bizarre decision tree for kids regarding befriending their parents: Parents as Facebook friends – yes/no.

While the younger kids mainly use Facebook for games and chats, they later turn to classic social media activities – particularly the girls enjoy those a lot.  So, considering that the kids shouldn’t be on Facebook, who could close the gap between virtual worlds such as Webkinz which the kids quickly grow out of on the one hand and social networks for grown-ups on the other hand? There are a few companies out there, for instance Mind Candy with their Moshi Monsters, who could do that and who offer social media dedicated to children from seven to twelve – but we still have to see whether they will manage to strike a chord with the children worldwide.

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