Tibesti

 
(i)

 

Dubious product "reviews" reap financial incentives.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

In its effort to find the “best of everything,” there are some helpful product reviews from the various expert reviewers who contribute to the site. The reviews are typically positive endorsements of a short list of products and not a comparison of brands (a la Consumer Reports). Ultimately, though, this site is all about buying products and collecting “favorite users” who also buy products. Users are financially rewarded for their purchases and for getting other users to make purchases.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex

Profile pictures posted by users frequently feature barely clothed women in sexually suggestive poses. Messages sent between users in various “groups” are frequently suggestive.

Language

The comments and profiles that can be viewed by users are primarily clean, but individuals’ status updates and the messages sent between users and visible in group discussions can include potentially offensive language.

Consumerism

Built to bolster online shopping, this site is rife with consumerism. Each user posts recommendations and images of their favorite products and each “expert reviewer” makes recommendations of products. The World’s Most Expensive section celebrates products that are exorbitantly priced such as a $145,000 Bible and a $20,000 Blackberry case. Rotating ads from retailers and online shops are interspersed throughout the pages.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Cigar and humidor products are readily available for purchase. Several user groups are focused on cocktails and drink recipes.

Privacy & safety

Users can set basic privacy controls. The site clearly states it is not intended for users under the age of 16. Those under 16 must receive consent from a parent or guardian.

Because the site is not intended for users under 16, there are no parental controls in place.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this shopping-centric social networking site is all about products, shopping, and buying and sharing that experience with online friends. Users set up their own pages and post images of favorite products -- and not all photos and products are tame. All users are encouraged to purchase products online and also recommend that other users purchase those products online. There’s a financial incentive to shopping through Tibesti because users are paid a small percentage each time a product they recommend is purchased through their page.

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QUALITY
 

For people who are passionate about buying products online, this site offers a place to combine social networking and shopping, but something about the financial incentive aspect taints the reviews. As users collect friends and post products to purchase, they are rewarded for any sales made through their particular page by receiving a small percentage of the commission Tibesti receives. Users with money and time to burn may find this site appealing, but those with neither would do best to not buy into this concept.

Online interaction: Users can create a profile, post status updates, send messages (both private and public) and create groups. Though there are privacy settings that users can utilize, the messages are unfiltered and largely unregulated.

Families can talk about...

  • Why is it helpful to seek out others’ opinions and reviews -- online or otherwise -- before purchasing products online? Do you believe that if someone receives a financial incentive they will be objective about their recommendation?

  • How is social media changing the way young people live, work, play and shop?

  • Why it’s critical to be smart about social networking sites and how much information you share.

Website details

Genre:Social Networking
Pricing structure:Free

This review of Tibesti was written by

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  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Adult Written byDigitalmarketers August 27, 2009
 
I love this site, i am using this site to get more information about new products and how the products are useful for me..

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