Disney and Social Networking: Togetherville for Kids

We’re obviously big fans of social networking here at OSM but have also published some articles about negative aspects of it, especially for kids, and pondered what age they should be before they join the social networking sphere. First Lady, Michelle Obama, recently spoke about how she wouldn’t allow her daughters to use Facebook, but we wonder if she and other parents would feel happier if the social network involved had Disney connections.

Well we’re about to find out as we hear news that Walt Disney Co., has purchased Togetherville, which is aimed at children aged 10 and under. This social networking site for kids is meant to provide a secure environment for them, give parents supervision and also enable kids to join their real-life friends in a virtual world. Togetherville was acquired by Disney on February 18 but details have not yet been revealed about the deal, according to Noel Young on The Drum.

Mandeep Dhillon, Chief Executive and founder of Togetherville, established the kid’s social network as he wanted his three children to be able to play online, safely with supervision. The site includes games to play, such as snowball fights with friends, and also lets kids watch age-appropriate animation and music videos. Referring to the acquisition of the company by Disney, Dhillon referred to Disney as “one of the most amazing family brands on Earth,” and added, “Togetherville is very focused on trying to really reflect what the adult community has been doing on the Web and build a real online experience that adults enjoy for kids – but do it in a safe, COPPA-compliant way.”

Leena Rao on TechCrunch also reports on the Togetherville purchase by Disney and writes that parents can contact other parents with Facebook’s social graph. Kids can connect via School Communities and this enables both parents and children to contact school friends, without it being necessary for parents to be connected through Facebook.

You may also be interested in our previous story about Everloop which is a social networking site for children aged 8-13. What are your thoughts on the Disney acquisition of Togetherville? Would you be happy to let you under-10s use it? Let us know by sending us your comments using the box below.

  • Franco

    Togetherville acquisition is a good idea? Social networking for kids under 10? Think again. The success behind Facebook (and social networking) is that it allows networking spanning geographies. A 10-year old has hardly encountered enough "friends" to validate social networking at this age range. Plus, shouldn't these kids be socializing in person and focussing on school/sports rather than waste hours "voyeuring" others or soliciting attention through how many "likes" from others?

    If you have tried Togetherville, the notion of having parents use Facebook for their kids to access Togetherville is almost laughable. This acquisition is likely more about putting a checklist (for headline bites) or getting a respectable headline exit for Togetherville's investors and its founder.