If your children are too young for facebook, they may be using a kids site called moshi monsters.
Michael Acton Smith set up the social networking site for kids in 2004. Last week it reached 15 million members, and according to Hitwise is the quickest growing site online. It is now one of the biggest sites for children.
Children login to the site and adopt a monster which they create from 1 of 6 basic designs. Each monster has name and the children can choose the colour of their own little monster. The graphics are amazing as well, you can tell the founder was inspired by Pixar.
Parents do not have to worry about their children on this site as privacy is very important and users are unable to post photos and send messages. Conversations are also monitored and filtered. I was really impressed with the terms and conditions for the site. Everyone has to accept these before they are allowed to enter the site and play games.
The monster has to be regularly fed and interacts with others in the virtual town. Users can also get virtual pets called “moshlings”. You can get your own moshling by planting the right combination of seeds. You can learn online, maths puzzels, spelling and play games, all for free. The site is educational, perhaps the 21st century edition of Sesame Street. The kids come from all over the world with a third coming from the UK and the US. It was originally aimed for 7 – 11 year olds but now there are players as young as 3 years old. The site is all about learning and where kids can be kids.
Last year the number of visits to the site grew by 424% and this year it is set to grow even more. Michael Acton Smith has signed a book deal for Christmas and has licensed the track “Hey Mickey” for “Hey Moshi”. 2010 is set to be the year for Moshi Monsters.
For more information, please read the feature from the Evening Standard.