Yoursphere, the American social network for teens has launched in the UK. The paid subscription social network site is the latest competitor to Habbo, Bebo, Facebook and Myspace in the fight for teens’ affections on the Internet. A monthly £3.50 fee ensures that Yoursphere.co.uk remains advert free and in accordance with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.
Users must be under 18 and there are a variety of safety measures in place to make sure it stays that way. The site asks the parents of the newly signed up teen, to verify their details before allowing them to proceed for example. Sensible stuff.
Is a paid for subscription social network a viable alternative to the reams of free portals out there?
This is a good way for parents to introduce younger teens to the ways of the Internet, if they are prepared to pay. If you are a parent and concerned about your child’s online activity and how quickly they learn about the Internet, this could be the answer. I think the key quantifier here is ‘child’.
I don’t think that anyone over 16 would go near it: if you’re 16 years old, you’re likely to be aspiring to be 18 – why would you pay for a service that can be provided by a Myspace or Bebo?
Whereas, if you’re 13 and just getting involved with the Internet, or a parent of a young teen or pre-teen, you can sign them up, pay the fee and be happy in the knowledge they, for a month or two at least, will be happy mooching around in a controlled environment, interacting with youngsters their age and embarking on the world of content sharing.
Once you have outgrown your training wheels however, it is likely you will cast off the shackles of an age-determined environment and sign yourself up (secretly of course) to one of the grown up networks.