Technically, you have to be 13 to join Facebook, but that’s not to say there isn’t some fudging when it comes to birthdays. And while most of the time Facebook can be innocuous, many parents tend to worry about their kids talking to strangers on the social network.
So when Itay Eshet’s 10-year-old daughter asked if she could join Facebook, he was not going to have it — despite the fact all of her friends were using the platform.
But instead of leaving his daughter disconnected from her friends, Eshet took matters into his own hand and created a safer version of Facebook’s social network — for kids.
On May 20, Eshet launched a crowdfunding page for “Nipagesh,” which means “Let’s meet” in Hebrew. He has yet to reach his full budget, but Eshet nonetheless went ahead with the Hebrew social network. And now he is putting together an English version called NetoKids.
Kids must get a code from their teachers to access the social network. Additionally, all activity on the site is supervised by parents and schools.
“Since at that age kids’ lives are centered around school, we decided to give them a platform that will enable them to connect with other kids with similar interests, share ideas and chats, and connect to school as well,” Eshet told Israel21c.
On top of being able to communicate with friends, kids can use NetoKids for educational-related activities as well. Teachers can send students assignments and announcements through the platform as well as collaborate with other schools on educational projects.
According to Israel21c, about 150 Israeli schools have signed up to use Nipagesh along with the cooperation of the Ministry of Education. They’re currently rolling out the network to schools in both Israel and South America.