Kids want a “Junior Facebook” for under-13s as research shows British children more likely to be on Facebook than American kids
Although children under 13 continue to dodge Facebook’s ban, three quarters of those with accounts want their own “Junior Facebook” which would allow them on legitimately. Those are the findings from a study conducted by youth research specialists, Dubit, which surveyed 2,000 6-14 year-olds in the UK and USA.
A Facebook for under-13s?
When asked about the possibility of a Facebook that allowed Children under-13s to join, 53 per cent of all children interviewed said they would sign-up for such a network. Surprisingly 78 per cent of the children that wanted a “Junior Facebook” already have a real Facebook account, and are happy to switch to a profile showing their real age.
Ian Douthwaite, CEO of Dubit, said: “This research should be welcome news to Facebook who have a great opportunity to widen their audience and legitimise these kids’ membership. It also explains the popularity of games like Moshi Monsters and Bin Weevils which are giving children a safe place to play online. Our research shows that games are one of the main reasons for children joining social networks: This includes the fact that 36 per cent of 6-14 year-olds have played games on Facebook in the last month, higher than any other gaming portal and emphasising the importance games play in attracting children to social networks.”
UK kids flout Facebook rules more than American children
Other findings show that nearly half (44 per cent) of UK children aged 8-12 years-old are accessing Facebook compared to only 37 per cent in America.
Even children as young as six (in the UK and USA) are aware of the social network with 66 per cent of six-year-olds saying they have heard of Facebook.
A shocking 23 per cent of eight-year-olds access Facebook, with ten per cent getting their first taste by using their parent’s account.
In the UK 44 per cent of children aged 8-12 are accessing Facebook, and 26 per cent do it from their own account.
By the age of 12 (a year under Facebook’s minimum age of 13) 58 per cent of children in America and the UK have their own account. However, it’s British kids that are the most connected as by the age of 14: 90 per cent of UK kids aged 14 are on Facebook compared to only 75 per cent in the U.S.
The vast majority of children not on Facebook said they stayed away because they’re not allowed to sign-up, not because they’re not interested.
Douthwaite said: “There is a current danger on Facebook that if children lie about their age and don’t register a correct date of birth that they will be getting served advertising that is not appropriate for their age. A “Junior Facebook” that obtained parental consent for under-13s to have an account could help solve this problem.”
Released by Dubit Limited, for more information contact Paul Rayment on 0113 3947 931 or email firstname.lastname@example.org – Twitter @paulruk
About the Research
The research was carried out with 2,000 children through an online questionnaire. The children were aged 6 to 14 – half in the UK and half in America. There was an even spread across children aged 6-14. The study was carried out in December 2011.
Dubit Limited is a leading youth research agency, set-up in 1999 by teenagers who wanted to improve research and marketing to young people. The company runs the largest youth panels and networks in the UK, and is constantly in touch with young people’s trends, motivations and behaviours.
Dubit works with major brands offering research, marketing and interactive services. This allows brands to connect with young people through an integrated and strategic approach that keeps young people at the heart of the creative process.
Clients include Cartoon Network, Kellogg’s, NSPCC and BBC.
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