Common Sense Media says

Facebook-lite gets a lot right, but watch out for games.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Site promotes the message that kids should be "friends" online only with the people they know in real life.

Violence

Overall, this is not a violent site, but kids who play fighting games (like Bloody Rage 2 and Mob Street Fighter) will encounter violence.

Sex

Some of the dress-up and adventure games feature models and characters with tight clothing, short skirts, cleavage, etc. For example, in iPirate a woman shows lots of cleavage, and instead of pants wears a strategically placed belt. Also, because kids can freely communicate on this site (there are no pre-scripted messages), the type of content in the communication between GiantHello friends would be highly variable, depending on whom your child chooses to friend.

Language

The site has a language filter that captures some -- but not all -- profanity. And again, because kids can communicate freely for the most part, the language will vary depending on whom they're communicating with.

Consumerism

Most games include ads. The ads are identified by a disclaimer, but you have to watch them to get to the game, and some of them link to other sites (such as game sites). There are also fan pages devoted to a variety of consumer brands, such as Reese's, Chipotle, and Nintendo Wii.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Not promoted on the site; not likely to be an issue unless friends talk about it in their communication.

Privacy & safety

Users cannot have their postings (writing or images) picked up by search engines, meaning their photo won't pop up on Google images for any reason. Also, to friend someone you need to either enter their email address or print a code to give them in person, as there is no way to search for a specific user. Anyone can create an account, but kids under 13 need parental consent to do things like add friends, upload photos, and chat. Once parents create an account (verified via social security number or a credit card), they can monitor whom their kids are friends with and suspend or delete accounts. Kids 13 and up need no parental consent to register.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that GiantHello is a lot like Facebook, only with much more attention to safety and privacy concerns for young people. This online social network for kids 7 to 17 (formerly known as Facechipz) requires parental consent for kids under 13, and it's a closed network. Kids can only communicate with people they have invited as friends, via email or a code printed and delivered in person. Parents should be aware that the games section (public, no registration needed) includes ads as well as some violent and sexual content.

What kids can learn

Skills

Communication

  • friendship building

Tech Skills

  • social media

What Kids Can Learn

GiantHello wasn't created with educational intent, and we don't recommend it for learning.

What kids can learn

Skills

Communication

  • friendship building

Tech Skills

  • social media

GiantHello wasn't created with educational intent, and we don't recommend it for learning.

This Learning Rating review was written by Michelle Kitt

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

Giant Hello is a social networking site for kids too young for Facebook. The focus of the site is on playing games and interacting with real-life friends. Since it's aimed at the tween crowd, social networking is highly safeguarded and kids are only able to send or receive friend requests from people they know, after their own account has been approved by a parent. To connect with someone on Giant Hello, a coded message is sent via personal email or hand delivered -– kids are never able to contact or be contacted by strangers. Celebrities and pop culture play a prominent role through fan pages, and there is also noticeable consumerism -- Teen Vogue, Wii, and McDonalds all have popular fan pages. For kids, the games -- racing, dress-up, action, etc. -- may be the biggest draw.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Overall, GIANTHELLO succeeds as a relatively safe Facebook alternative for tweens. It even provides kids with a letter to print for their parents that promises they'll stay off Facebook until they are 13 if they are allowed to get a GiantHello account. Cute. But although the site is geared toward kids as young as 7, if they venture into the games section they can encounter ads and content unsuitable for young kids. Still, it's a good alternative for tweens whose parents are OK with the iffy content.

Online interaction: Kids are only able to interact online with GiantHello friends they have invited. Communication is in the form of commenting, messaging, and chat. But users cannot edit or delete comments once they've posted them, so they should use caution.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace and whether they guard the safety of kids, especially kids under 13. Check out Common Sense Media's Facebook for Parents tipsheet.

  • Start the habit of getting involved early by asking your child if you could be one of their friends on GiantHello. Read why all parents should have a Facebook or MySpace page if their teen does in Common Sense Media's Social Networks and Teen Lives Parent Advice section.

  • Ask your younger child if it's more fun to play with their friends online or in person. What are some differences between online communication and face-to-face communication?

Website details

Genre:Social Networking
Pricing structure:Free

This review of GiantHello was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

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A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Parent of a 11 year old Written bybobsax May 24, 2010
AGE
17
QUALITY
 

I'm very suspicious of this site.
The user agreement is long and confusing but I did find a s part that says they can raise the fees and then kick you out if you don't pay.
Service Fees
Currently the FaceChipz.com website Service is provided to you for one dollar, however at some point FaceChipz may require you to pay additional fees to use certain services. In advance of any changes to the Service we will post those rates and payment terms within the Terms of Service as well on the relevant pages of the Website. If at such time, you decide not to pay for a fee-based service, you will not be able to continue using the Service, and your child’s account could be deleted.

What other families should know
Too much consumerism
Safety and privacy concerns
Teen, 13 years old Written by9001 March 1, 2010
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

Iffy for ages 10-17

This sounds like a great site, and most certainly a lot safer and cleaner than facebook, but you could still be exposed to something inappropriate depending on the people you talk to.

What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Adult Written byCool Kidz April 26, 2010
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

Not a perfect system

scary. why trust an imperfect system when your kids are concerned. its not OK to be networking online unless you are of an appropriate age. too many pitfalls.

What other families should know
Safety and privacy concerns

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