(This is a guest review from my friend D) My first impression of WhatsWhat is that it is a pretty cool idea for a site- like Facebook for kids! I tried to sign in as a new member through the black box in the upper right hand corner of the screen. I clicked *sign in*. It took a few minutes to find the *join now* section (upper left corner of screen). For those of us who are “illiterate” computer parents, the *log in* and the *join now* are not together in one box (QueenB is included in this) so keep that in mind when you go to join and save yourself some time!! You MUST have parental approval and a webcam to join. The program uses facial recognition to verify that your child is logging on and not someone else each time they use it.
WhatsWhat offers a kids’ social network where they can customize their personal pages, share photos, play games, earn points and trade them for prizes. There are quizzes and status updates just like the adult networks- just without the adults included. Parents DO need to give approval for an account but only kids can log on and only kids can sign up (hence the webcam).
One thing that was a little discouraging for D was the parent verification: At first I really liked the idea that a parent would have to give approval. But to get to that point is downright painful. At first I was put-off that they wanted my credit card number. With this day and age and I.D. theft I don’t like to give out my credit card number. With a little more reading I found around the necessity of having to give a credit card. I printed your parent consent verification form, filled it in, and faxed it to you. I called the telephone number you have listed under *contact me*. The woman from WhatsWhat informed me that WhatsWhat is having a problem with fax verification process and it could take as long as a week or more to enroll my daughter. I was informed that my daughter will still will need to go through photo verification after you register her. I asked the representative if I would receive an email when registration is complete. She couldn’t answer that question. She told me to sign in, in about a week or so. That is when I’ll find out if I’m registered. Up to this point, this has been a long half hour of my time.
Once the verification is complete, your child can set up their account, personalize things, take quizzes, play games, and be social- and YOU, as the parent, don’t have to wonder who he might be interacting with – you know! This is a great idea for a site- a safe, secure place for kids to interact with one another- and because of the photo verification you can feel at ease that there are no possible adults posing as children. I know that I posted about my friend Deb having issues getting her daughter’s account registered as she didn’t do a credit card- but as annoying as that may be for parents- that’s also kind of reassuring- the folks at WhatsWhat.com really do take the time and steps to ensure the safety of our children. My kids are little but the idea of them being on Facebook scares me. I get friend requests regularly from people I haven’t ever met nor heard of- what’s to stop them from not being who they say they are? When they are old enough for social networking (and let’s face it, their mom is a social media mom, they will love social networks I’m sure) I want to know my kids are in a safe place and protected!
The reason Deb and her daughter helped me with this review is, quite simply, that they won’t even allow me as a mom blogger to create an account just to poke around for the sake of my review. This to me as a mom is very reassuring- they have policies and they adhere to them.
I wrote this review while participating in the “Keep Kids Safe Online: WhatsWhat.me Safe Kids Social Network Review Program” from WhatsWhat.me. I received compensation to facilitate my review. All opinions expressed are my own.