SOURCE: KidZui

October 13, 2008 00:01 ET

KidZui, The Internet for Kids, Expands With New Kid-Safe Social Networking Features: Kids Can Befriend Their Favorite Election 2008 Candidates

KidZui Triples Size of Internet for Kids to 1.5 Million Sites, Pictures and Videos; Adds Homework Helper; Earns First-Ever WiredTrust Best Practices Seal

SAN DIEGO, CA--(Marketwire - October 13, 2008) - KidZui, The Internet for Kids (www.kidzui.com), today announced a major expansion incorporating new kid-safe social networking features, a Homework Helper, and that they have reached 1.5 million parent- and teacher-approved websites, games, pictures and videos. Based on its high standards for Internet safety, KidZui has been awarded the first-ever WiredTrust Best Practice seal for a children's site.

KidZui's new kid-safe social networking features, designed specifically for kids age 3-12, include a live mini-feed that allows kids to connect and stay in touch with their friends, express their feelings and opinions, and share cool content that they discover online. All friend requests are subject to mutual parent approval. Just as adults can support candidates on Facebook, kids using KidZui can now "befriend" Barack Obama, John McCain, Joe Biden and Sarah Palin, view each candidate's profile page, and comment on and share content with their friends. Results on who the kids befriend can be found at www.kidzui.com/election2008.

"We purposefully designed the new KidZui social features to incorporate the best aspects of MySpace and Facebook but in a way that works for kids," said Cliff Boro, chairman and chief executive officer of KidZui. "We're offering kids a perfect combination of a place to go for entertainment, education and community; and best of all, it's fun."

Kid-Safe Social Networking

Just as KidZui created the best searching and browsing features for kids, it has taken the best features of social networks and tailored them to kids. When kids download KidZui, they start by creating their own Zui (online avatar) which they can customize by changing its skin color, hair color and style, eye color and shape, clothing and accessories.

Kids now have a profile page where they can see their events, tags and visitors. On the new profile page, kids can pick their status and mood from a drop down menu that spans a wide range of emotions and activities from "energetic" to "moody" or "by the pool" to "doing homework." The mini-feed shows who have become friends, who has tagged interesting videos, photos and websites, and also allows children to "ping" each other. Kids enjoy more self-expression through new customization tools that offer a variety of beautifully crafted backgrounds in categories such as nature, space, fantasy and sports. KidZui also lets kids see what pieces of content are the most popular within the entire KidZui network. Members can build their own "channels" where they become their own editors, selecting which videos, photos and websites to add. Kids can then share channels with their friends.

Homework Helper

In addition to tripling the size of the Internet for Kids -- from its original 500,000 pieces of content to 1.5 million in only six months -- KidZui has added Homework Helper for members.

The Homework Helper is the next generation of educational technology. KidZui Members have access to Homework Helper, a teacher-designed system that gives kids access to thousands of Web pages, pictures and videos matched by subject to every grade level from Kindergarten through eighth grade.

Kids choose their grade level from the menu bar and then click on the subject category they are studying (Native American history, solar system, fractions, homophones). Each subject brings related topics and content so kids can easily find the best resources on the web.

Homework Helper was developed by the former editor-in-chief of Leapfrog, a leading designer and developer of innovative, technology-based educational products, and a team of eight teachers.

WiredTrust Best Practice Seal

KidZui has been awarded the first-ever WiredTrust Best Practice Seal for a children's site. The seal is given to organizations that have proven to be among the most responsible and professional of organizations and shown a commitment to safety and risk management. KidZui has met the strict standards set by WiredTrust, one of the first consulting companies designed specifically to help social networks and kids' virtual worlds navigate safety issues.

"The Internet's youngest users see what their teenage brothers and sisters are doing online and want to do the same," said Dr. Parry Aftab, Internet Privacy & Security Lawyer, Managing Director of WiredTrust. "KidZui has found the right level of social networking features to give kids a sense of community while keeping them safe. KidZui deserves the first WiredTrust Best Practice Seal for building an Internet for Kids that gives them the best of the Web, while keeping parents connected with their kids."

Designed for kids age 3-12, KidZui is a free revolutionary web browser and online service that offers access to the best Internet content for kids -- more than 1.5 million kid-friendly Web sites, videos and pictures. Content in KidZui has been approved by the editorial team of trained educators and parents.

Through KidZui's parental account, parents can change the categories of content available, add and take out specific Web sites and see what their kids are viewing online. KidZui is a great way for parents to stay in tune with their kids and engaged in their online activities. Parents also receive a detailed weekly report of their kids' recent searches and interests.

KidZui is free to all families. KidZui also offers a membership for just $4.95/month or $49.95/year that includes enhanced online reporting for parents, Homework Helper, and fun extras for kids.

Since launching in March 2008, KidZui has experienced accelerated growth. Users have rated two million pieces of content, have shared almost a million pieces of content, and use KidZui an average of three times per week.

About KidZui

KidZui, The Internet for Kids, is a revolutionary free browser and online service that lets kids age 3 to 12 enjoy the power and promise of the Internet in a fun, safe and engaging way. KidZui features more than 1.5 million Web sites, videos and pictures categorized by topic and reviewed for age-appropriateness according to strict editorial guidelines. Built from the ground up for kids, KidZui encourages and rewards curiosity and learning, and keeps parents in touch with their kids' online activities. KidZui is funded by Maveron, Emergence Capital Partners and First Round Capital. KidZui is available at www.kidzui.com.