Digital Platform TotallyTween to Go Offline


LONDON: TotallyTween is logging off next month as the founders of the U.K.-based online service for 8- to 12-year-old girls contemplate its future in today’s highly competitive market.

TotallyTween was launched by Clare Vincent and Gina Walter in March 2015. The website is meant to provide a safe place for female preteens to interact, share, learn and have fun. Despite what is being referred to as an “overwhelmingly positive response” from parents and content providers, Vincent and Walter have decided to take the platform offline indefinitely in June after struggling to compete with the social media giants, which, although officially intended for users over the age of 13, are also accessed by TotallyTween’s younger target demo.

Vincent and Walter remarked: “We just wanted to give the 2.5 million girl tweens in the U.K. a safe place to be online, to protect them from the potential dangers of the worldwide web, and to allow them to hang onto their childhood just that little bit longer. It was never our vision to try to compete with the major social-networking sites, but that is unfortunately what we are faced with.

“It’s worrying that social-media sites state in their privacy policies that their sites are for 13-and-overs, yet we know our audience of 8- to 12-year-olds are hooked and are using them daily, and this is happening right under our very noses. Who are these companies answerable to, and why are they allowed to have so much influence and power over our children?”