Social Media

Social Media And Children: How Young Is Too Young?

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Security on the internet takes different forms and impacts various aspects of our lives. The first to come to mind is usually personal privacy and the security of information that is provided through online shopping, banking, email, and other functions. Also, there is the security of company records, sensitive document archives in institutions, and other proprietary data. But, just as important, if not more, is the security of vulnerable groups online, especially children. Online protection in this manner is inherently difficult given the remote nature of the internet and the built-in challenges of verifying age for online applications and programs. This gets at the heart of the issue of allowing children on social media because of the challenges associated with verification as well as the potential dangerous exposure for the young people themselves.

Debate circles around the idea of allowing children online in general terms and with it comes the discussion of parental controls that can be enforced for protection’s sake. Industry analyst like search engine and social media marketing consultants to psychologists and others all have their own perspective on the issue. There are indeed benefits to having children grow up with the internet, understanding it, and becoming proficient with it at an early age, in fact it is essential. However, the utility of social media at the same age is a different matter. As a result, many wonder the worth of allowing young people, specifically pre-teens, on social platforms when they have not fully developed to the point where they can watch out for themselves steering away from potential threats.

Facebook’s Plans
It has recently been reported from various outlets that Facebook is looking to develop a service for those in the pre-teen age bracket, although details of such a service are currently scarce. Facebook’s potential intentions to develop such a service is an interesting case, as it is not entirely out of the question that Facebook could successfully develop a service that caters to the younger populations, gives them benefit, and fully protects users from any potential threats. Social media and SEO consultants have yet to fully weigh in on this issue specifically in relation to Facebook, but discussion on the matter will soon take shape if Facebook does indeed move forward with these plans.

How Would This Change the Game?
The impact across the board is significant as such an offering will affect privacy, safety/security, Facebook’s brand, and marketing/advertising on the platform. Facebook could take this potential service any way they like, doing it more to widen exposure and user base, adding additional revenue in advertising, or even greatly restricting advertising given the age of the children. The best SEO and marketing companies will decipher how businesses can leverage the new offering if Facebook allows the presence of businesses on the platform.

If activity is limited, then companies may need to go the route of partnerships to develop apps and add-on offerings that cater to the children in terms of education or entertainment. This development will not soon go away and will be worked through in the months and maybe years to come. The central issue though is the safety concerns as Facebook would need to develop checks and balances to create a truly safe environment for the children.

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About the author: Will Schnieder (Winsights) is the Founder and CEO of insightQuote, Inc., a company that provides businesses with a reliable method for getting quotes for a range of business services. He also operate SEOCompanies.com, a search platform for quality SEO companies, and writes guest blogs concentrating on search engine optimization, mobile marketing, and other related internet marketing subjects. Note: Image is licensed from Shutterstok.

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