Alan Anderson, the CEO of Imbee, a social media site specifically for kids not quite old enough for Facebook, purchased the company in 2009 and revamped and relaunched it a year later. The site has more than 200,000 users, mostly ages 8 to 14.
What does Imbee offer kids that other social media sites like Facebook don’t? Just think of it this way. You’re not too young, you’re not too old. You’re kinda “in-bee-tween.” The first amazing element is that they can navigate whatever they want. Kids are kind of like superusers. And at Imbee, we really respect that. They can do a lot more that I know I couldn’t do when I was 11, 12, 13, or 14.
How does security work on the site? I think the key question is, what do we want them freely to be exposed to? And from a social-media standpoint, I think social media in its raw form is wonderful. It allows people to reach out and have friends [of their age] on a global basis. It allows them access to information.
What was your entree into this venture? Well, from personal experience, I have three kids. They’re all older now. I can remember distinctively dealing with my daughter at this age group. And it was stressful for her, and stressful for me ... in a good way.