GiantHello

Website review by
Ingrid Simone, Common Sense Media
GiantHello Website Poster Image
Facebook-lite gets a lot right, but watch out for games.
Popular with kids

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 11 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 58 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this website.

Educational value

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

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.

What 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.

User Reviews

Parent of a 11 year old Written bybobsax May 24, 2010
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...
Adult Written byCool Kidz April 26, 2010

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...
Teen, 13 years old Written by9001 March 1, 2010

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...
Kid, 10 years old September 23, 2013

stupid website

this is stupid you cant do anything:( :P :$

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?

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.

Talk to your kids 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

For kids who love hanging out online

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