Recently, my wife’s niece had added me on Facebook. I was happy to see the kid ready to adapt the technology. But it has been proved time and again that every technology has a darker side and similarly I have always believed that Facebook is not a social network for kids.
How does Gungroo work?
Gungroo is a social network that promises to be a safe place. It plans to build a network for your child and also gives you the choice to monitor it. After reading their pitch at Medianama, I was excited to review.
The network, which is in Alpha stage, is not open for public right now but you can always ask for a login. Once you have the login details, the network will ask to fill all the details considering you as a parent. The form is a quick one but I would have preferred to have a Facebook or Twitter login.
Once you register yourself then you are given two choices – 1) Adding a member elder than 16 years and 2) Adding a member less than 16 years.
If you are adding a member who is older than 16 years then you have a choice to invite three of them. But if you are adding a member less than 16 years then you have to fill a form. The form requires details such as name, date of birth and sex. Along with this, there are options that a parent needs to consider before creating the account for his son or daughter. For example, the network has an option where you can allow your kid to log into the network without your permission too.
Once you have added your children on the network then you can also configure their Gmail accounts or you can start conversation with your family members known as ‘Roo’. Roo allows you to tag the person and send him an instant message. Apart from this, once the Gmail accounts are configured, kids can check their mails itself on the network. Parents also have access to the mails of their kids so that they can monitor and filter out unwanted and spam emails.
The network also has options to beautify your profile and sorts the users according to the family chart i.e. under ‘Grownups’ and ‘Kids’. Going further, the network also has plans to integrate other social networks such as Facebook, Google Plus, etc.
How effective is the network?
It would be too early to pass a judgment considering the product is only in alpha stage. What I like about the network is that it not only gives control to parents but also allows you to handover the network at the right age to children. Besides, integrating Gmail is a good move and hopefully integrating with other social networks would be great.
However, the network has a long way to go and it would be a challenge to attract teens from Facebook to Gungroo. Besides that it would be interesting to see how teenagers would react when parents control their social space. Nevertheless, the network can create a space like other social networking sites have created such as Everloop, Club Penguin, etc.
Facebook definitely is not an answer for kids but do you think Gungroo can be the network for kids along with parents?