Hoping to address the needs of younger kids and especially their parents, Industrious Kid has launched, Imbee.com, a new social networking website aimed at the 8 to 14 year-old set, reports News.com. The launch comes just two months after company execs previewed the site for the media.
Imbee has greater parental controls and tighter security measures than social networking sites aimed at teens such as MySpace and Facebook. Imbee requires parental authorization with a parent's valid credit card by first authenticating their own identity. Personal sites are not available by a Google search, only by invitation.
There is some question whether "tweens" will be interested in a site with so much parental control. Especially if they have already experienced MySpace. Imbee execs says that parents can choose to be notified of, and retain approval power over, new-friend invitations, emails and blog posts. Or, by maintaining the default setting, they can choose to just monitor the activity in the background, via a daily Imbee e-mail.
"It becomes a tool for parents to engage in dialog with the child about online etiquette, like what to post and who to talk to, so that when they've grown out of it, they go out of it with some real fundamental skill sets. To some degree, parents have been hands-off to their kids online, probably because they don't know when things happen. This makes it immediate," Tim Donovan, a founding member of Imbee.
For a membership with a personal blog, Imbee costs $3.95 a month (for two kids and one adult). It's free for members who want just to email.