Everloop is a great alternative to Facebook for kids in the 8-13 range who want to socialize online while still being safe.
Every time I see one of my friends’ kids join Facebook, I cringe a little. Oftentimes, these children are under Facebook’s required age (13 years), but even a young teen often doesn’t use much discretion when posting online. Okay, let’s be honest. Many adults don’t use discretion when posting online either! The fact of the matter is that Facebook isn’t a great place for kids unless you’re watching over their shoulder every time they are online, which is pretty unrealistic for most parents.
Yet, socializing online can build some great skills and allow your child to interact with people from around the world. It isn’t all bad. Everloop is a safer place to do this. So if your tweens are bugging you about joining Facebook, and you’re worried they just aren’t ready for Facebook yet, check out this online community as an alternative.
Everloop is a social network designed specifically for the 8-13 crowd, but can also be enjoyed by slightly older children as well. The site is COPPA compliant and strictly monitors what its members are publishing to keep kids safe and prevent any kind of online bullying. Even though I suggest you enjoy online activities with your child, on Everloop they are safer even if your back is turned for a minute.
This network is built on the idea of “loops” which are similar to Facebook groups. Each loop is about a specific topic and kids can join loops according to their interests. Loops cover everything from sports to movies to hobbies, and if there’s not a loop for your child’s interests, he or she can start one. Kids can also chat with one another, play games, share pictures, and more on Everloop, and parents can control exactly who sees the information being shared. Profiles on Everloop are also more kid-friendly and can be customized with colors, badges, stickers, and more.
Everloop has won a number of awards, including a 2012 Parents’ Choice Award for “Best Website for Kids Ages 8-13” and CEO Hilary DeCesare has spoken at The White House Conference on Bullying Prevention. If you’re looking for a safe place for your kids to connect with others online, this is definitely a social network you need to check out.
Allison Boyer is the Online Education Coordinator and Content Creator for New Media Expo (NMX), a conference for bloggers, podcasters, web TV producers, and social business leaders. She also runs the food blog The PinterTest Kitchen with her mom and sister.