Social networks like Facebook and MySpace are not intended for users under 13 years of age. These networks have many entertaining games and activities, but children are not permitted to access them. Giant Hello intends to give children a place to enjoy social network games in a safe environment that welcomes their age group. Parents can feel assured by the fact that their child is not going on to Facebook or other more mature social networks that may contain content they shouldn’t see, adult language or people who are much too old to be interacting with them. Giant Hello is intended for the 7 to 13 year age group. It is intended for user who have outgrown the more childish website like Webkinz and Club Penguin, but are still too young to dive into most social networks. The site includes many similar features, only redesigned for children, such as friends lists, internal messaging, photo uploads, status updates, customizable profile options, award badges, web based instant messaging and fan pages.
GiantHello was founded in July of 2010. Based out of Los Angeles, California, the team consists of around eight individuals including CEO George Zaloom, CTO Tony Restuccia, CFO Ivan Ivankovich and board member Jon Funk. Giant Hello earned a Parent’s Choice Award from the National Parenting Center as well as a cyber safety best practices seal from the Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU).
GiantHello is intended for children ages 7 to 13. Until recently, most social networks were not open to children under 13 years old. This was of course to protect them from the questionable material and older users that often frequent these types of websites. The problem is that this left children in this age group with few options. Most were too old for children’s websites but not old enough for popular social networking sites. Giant Hello helps fill the gap and gives older children and pre-teens a place to interact safely.
The Giant Hello website uses fun colors, but in a subtle way. The design gives the site a youthful, but not necessarily immature feel. The homepage features a wide black header highlighted by the smiling green Giant Hello logo. Hints of blue and pink are also found throughout but used to create an appealing contrast. The design is well organized and easy to navigate so young internet users can learn it quickly.
The registration form for Giant Hello can be found in the bottom, right hand corner of the website’s homepage. The form asks for a username, password, birthday and gender. After entering the information, the user can click the blue “Sign Up” button to continue. The site advises the user that some parts will require parent’s approval. They can either sign up later or go find a parent to provide approval. The next page requires the parent to fill out information to create their parent account. The parent can also link an existing account if they have multiple children signing up for Giant Hello. Parents are also asked to provide either their social security number or credit card information to verify their identity. Credit card verification costs one cent.
Anyone can create a GiantHello account for free. There are no subscription fees or other charges for doing so. This is great for parents with multiple children who want to enjoy Giant Hello. The site does charge a one time one cent fee when using a credit card to verify the parent’s identity.
Giant Hello is a great entertainment source for children ages 7 to 11. It provides a fun environment that isn’t too childish so even pre-teen can enjoy it. The environment is secure and requires parental verification to access, adding another layer of protection.