A new social networking community has emerged, but this one stands out since its target audience is children under 10. Togetherville, the “online neighborhood for kids and their grownups,” is still in Beta phase, but it’s already generating quite a buzz.
The basic services on the site are free, but you can either buy “gifts” for your kids through the site or give them an allowance so they can buy their own. Neither of these paid features is active yet on the site, so I don’t know how much they will cost. You are able to give free gifts right now, which are basically pictures of things like robots and butterflies to be displayed on the kids’ Togetherville profiles.
Right now, there is no commercial content per se on the site. Still, along with the more generic funny videos, some of the clips for kids to watch on Togetherville include a Justin Bieber performance on Ellen, a review of the Super Mario Galaxy 2 video game, and segments from kid-friendly TV shows like Sesame Street and The Electric Company. That’s not exactly commercial-free content.
Togetherville’s Terms of Service (TOS) is pretty clear about restrictions on commercial intent from its users, however:
You may not use this site for any commercial purposes such as to conduct sales of merchandise or services of any kind. You must obtain Togetherville’s prior written consent to make commercial offers of any kind on the site, whether by advertising, solicitations, links, or any other form of communication. Togetherville will investigate and take appropriate legal action against anyone who violates this provision, including without limitation, removing the offending communication from the site and barring such violators from use of the site.
You will not (i) advertise or sell any products, services or otherwise (whether or not for profit), or solicit others (including, without limitation, solicitations for contributions or donations), or (ii) use any product or service available on the Site for commercial purposes of any kind…
Who knows what the future will bring, however. Perhaps there will be an opportunity to sponsor a portion of the Art section, where members can currently do things like create greeting cards or a logo for their Togetherville profiles, or in the Games section, which right now only contains generic, non-branded activities. More sections could also be added once the site grows.
Growth potential for the site is pretty much endless. I can easily see sponsored events such as streaming interviews or live chats with celebrities, movie trailers, or brand-name “gifts” to give related to the newest toys or TV shows. Togetherville’s FAQ says that, “In the near future, we will encourage developers to create kid-focused games and applications that will be screened before becoming available in Togetherville.”
As it develops further, this site is definitely worth paying attention to if you have any sort of product geared towards children.
Source: Togetherville’s Terms of Service (TOS), Togetherville
Source: Togetherville’s Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), Togetherville
Source: “Togetherville Launches New Social Website With Safe Online Neighborhoods For Kids – And Adults,” press release, 05/19/10
Image by adjourned, used under its Creative Commons license.
Togetherville logo used under Fair Use: Reporting.