News reported that, the social network Facebook is developing a new technology, which allows children under the age of 13 to use the site under the guardianship of their parents. This initiative may create new sources of revenue to the company on the one hand; it may also provoke concerns about privacy issues on the other hand.
According to informed sources, Facebook is testing mechanism, including the account of the children to connect to the account of their parents, and use the control buttons of the application etc. This function for children under the age of 13 allows Facebook and its partners to ask parents to pay for games and other entertainment programs their children’s use.
Currently, Facebook, prohibits children under the age of 13 using the site. However, many children tend to hide their true age to register accounts, which place the company into the awkward position; because the federal law said that any site must get parental consent to collect their child’s personal data.
Facebook will target the children’s game market. It has discussed the problem with entertainment companies including Disney which specialize to offer services to children that whether it allows children to visit the site. Disney refused to make any comment. If this site is officially opened to the children, it will allow Facebook and its partners aimed at the rapid development of children’s games market, which has been occupied by Google and Apple’s smart phone platform.
There is growing concern that whether Facebook can maintain 88% revenue growth last year achieved through advertising, especially in the period that the IPO is in trouble. Large advertisers such as General Motors Corporation, who has ceased to pay for ads on the site; and users are turning to mobile devices that its advertising business has been slow to start.
However, some other money-making strategies are increasingly popular. Topped on the list are games, these games are available for free download, but if it’s needed to add new features, or upgrade, the player will need to pay. In 2011, Facebook has created a $ 3.7 billion in revenue. Among them, about 12 percent of revenue comes from its partners Zynga Farmville. It is expected that Facebook will eventually open its website to children in the entertainment industry and technology start-up companies.
The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act in 1998 sets out what kinds of personal information websites can collect information of children. Hinder the Federal Trade Commission is in the implementation of the Act for review, which makes Facebook more difficult open their networks to children.