San Diego, California,
|Website||KidZui at the Wayback Machine (archived May 13, 2014)|
KidZui was a
KidZui began development on the product in the summer of 2006. After beta testing, KidZui was offered to the general public on March 19, 2008. The KidZui browser and basic reports for parents are free. KidZui makes revenue through a paid membership program. Membership gives kids additional features like more available clothing and accessories for Zuis, more background and themes, and the ability to get to higher levels with points. Membership gives parents more reporting capabilities to track their children's online activity, and more ways to customize the KidZui browser for their children.
KidZui was designed for children between the ages of 3 and 12 years old. KidZui had a focus on children's online safety, but they also tried to expand the content available to children online. Rather than solely using
History and development
KidZui was started in 2006 when Vidar Vignisson was frustrated because he couldn't find a safe and easy way for his own children to use the Internet. Vignisson joined with Cliff Boro and Thomas Broadhead to create KidZui. Prior to founding KidZui, Vignisson, Boro, and Broadhead had been partners on other Internet startups including Infogate, which they sold to AOL Time Warner in March 2003.
Vignisson was frustrated by the approach of existing technologies that were available at the time; online filters helped keep out dangerous content, but could only be used in conjunction with adult browsers, which are hard for children to use. Existing children's browsers were easier to use but had access to very small amounts of content. Vignisson, Boro, and Broadhead set out to build an easy-to-use children's browser with access to a large and diverse set of online content and activities.
Prior to founding KidZui, Vignisson, Boro, and Broadhead had been partners on other Internet startups including Infogate, which they sold to AOL Time Warner (later Time Warner, now WarnerMedia) in March 2003.
KidZui began beta testing with children in 2006. KidZui was released to the general public on March 19, 2008 to generally favorable reviews. The original release of KidZui required a paid subscription. KidZui experienced some early criticism for not offering a free version of the product. The company released a free version on June 4, 2008. The free version of the product offers the same features as the original subscription-based product. KidZui introduced a membership program that same month. The membership program unlocks additional features in the kids’ browser and comes with more advanced reporting features for parents.
ZuiTube was the
ZuiTube.com launched in August 2009. The website launch was followed by the release of the ZuiTube
The basic version of KidZui with access to all content was free. Revenue came exclusively from paid memberships. It is not clear what percentage of families used the free version versus paying for membership. KidZui included advertisements to children in their browser, mostly based on sponsored partnerships with Under Armour, Mattel, and Comcast.
In 2007, KidZui hired Deanne Kells, a former vice president and Editor in Chief from LeapFrog, to establish the content guidelines and a process for reviewing and approving content. Kells used childhood developmental principles to form a content screening protocol where content is first determined to be appropriate for children, and then classified by age for developmental level and reading ability.
KidZui used a
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- Press Release from KidZui, Reuters.
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- Himelstein, Linda (July 14, 2003). "Dusting Cobwebs off a Web Staple," BusinessWeek Online.
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- See comments in response to Hendrickson, Mark (March 18, 2008). "KidZui: The Kid Safe Browser," TechCrunch.
- Fudge, Tom (March 3, 2008). "San Diego Entrepreneur Creates Kid-Friendly Site for Safe Web Exploration," KPBS Radio, Interview with Cliff Boro and Deanne Kells.