11 is the new 18

We’re in the middle of a research project to gather insight for a new entertainment website for kids. Among the interesting things we’ve observed is the shift in internet use when kids hit 10 or 11. Before that age, they’re visiting and frequenting branded content sites that offer games and short stories/movies (Nick, PBS Kids, Disney, Noggin, etc.). But around 10 or 11 years they switch gears and turn to “real life” content through YouTube, MySpace and other social platforms. The toons stuff is suddenly too kiddy for them, and now they’re looking for crazy videos or fun personal pages. And they’re spending a lot of time doing it.

This shift was obvious when we asked them to draw their ideal website/page….the younger kids provided images of gaming sites while the older ones imagined their custom social networking site. Who knows where these dynamics are heading…but one guess is that the social networking components will continue their drive into the younger aged sites as long as fears of security and privacy are managed.

Dream sites as concepted by 8-10 year olds….

Dream sites as concepted by 11-13 year olds….