Togetherville: Facebook for kids is shutting down


At high noon on Sunday, March 11th the “child-friendly” Togetherville social network will be discontinued.  Purchased by the Walt Disney Company early last year, Mickey Mouse is now saying good-bye to all his friends and disbanding thousands of neighborhoods. 

Created in 2010, founder Mandeep S. Dhillon was seeking an environment in which his tech-savvy four-year old could “play.”  Aimed at kids ten and under, the Togetherville social network was moderated by parents through their personal Facebook accounts.

On Togetherville, children were able to build a neighborhood of friends, approved of course by a parent, and were allowed access to games and art applications.  With all the familiar interaction of Facebook, children were allowed to exist within a safe online environment.

Having received a big boost with the Disney brand, the decision to shutter the social network came in four short sentences.  No rhyme or reason – just a number of referrals to other Disney branded properties:

Disney.com/Create – is a creative platform offering tools that enable children to develop original works of art, including digital paintings, video mashups, comic books, animated pets, and more.

Disney.com/Games – is a kid-friendly online destination with casual games featuring a number of favorite Disney characters.

Disney.com/Videos – is a family-friendly destination featuring original Disney web series, Disney music videos, and videos of favorite Disney characters.  

Club Penguin – is the number one virtual world for children with a reputation for providing fun for kids and peace of mind for parents.

Disney Family.com – is an online destination for mothers and families providing hundreds of crafts, recipes, advice, and family activities.

Attempts to reach Disney on the decision to shutter Togetherville were unsuccessful.

“I’m not happy about this one bit,” said six-year old Katherine of The Sagemont School in Weston and one of the first subscribers on Togetherville.  “Does that mean I can have my own Facebook page now?”

As Mickey Mouse would say, “see you real soon.”  As in the case of Togetherville – you left behind a lot of unhappy kids.  Previously worried about their MySpace accounts, instead their virtual neighborhood of friends at Togetherville is being scattered for all eternity. 

 

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