Entrepreneurs of any age could learn a thing or two from Zach Marks of Melbourne Beach, Fla., about turning obstacles into opportunities. The 12-year-old has launched Grom Social, a free social network for teenagers and preteens under age 17. His motivation? Getting kicked off Facebook — twice — for violating the age restriction.
When Facebook Block eleven year old kid Zach Marks then Zach lunched new social networking site for kids it’s amazing story.
Zach Marks was just 11-years old when he tried to join Facebook. Although he was forbidden to join, and Facebook’s minimum age requirement is 13-years-old, Marks successfully started two profiles. One of his Facebook profiles had about 680 friends, and Marks admitted that he saw a lot of inappropriate content.
This brought about the creation of GromSocial, a social networking site for the kids, that saw Mark nominated for inventor of the year by the Florida Inventors Society.
To create the site, Zach borrowed $2,500 from his older brother Luke, and four months later presented GromSocial to his father who was impressed by the level of sophistication and helped get the word out.
“After seeing Zach interacting on Facebook, with older kids and adults that were using language unsuitable for any child, I wanted to take control of the situation and eliminate my children’s exposure to unprotected social platforms,” said Zach’s father Darren.
“Amazed by what Zach put together we began contacting schools in the area and passed out material promoting the GromSocial network and getting about 500 members overnight.”
Grom is an Australian term often used for young surfers, with Zach defining the slang as a “promising young individual, who is quick to learn”.
It’s free for groms to join the website, with those aged over 16 also welcome to join the network too as ‘adult’ users.
The website covers a number of different topics including gaming, entertainment, health and fitness, action sports, school help and sports.
Mr Marks said that parental approval is an “integral part of the site” and is required before a child can start experiencing the many wonders of the social network.
“We built an environment that not only gives parents continued control but encourages safety and allows kids to be themselves,” he said.
“We have anti-bullying, anti-drug and anti-smoking sections. Educational videos are available in the Grom tutorial section for grades 1-10, in addition to places where kids can comment on current events and of course games and entertainment.
He concluded that they wanted to create a “safe and secure place” that would benefit kids’ lives, and going on parental feedback, the site seems to be doing just that.
Grom Social was created after Mark finally got his own Facebook account(his parents allowed him to). He soon started to talk to adults online and his parents then barred him from the website. What makes his website unique is that it requires parental permission to create an account on the site. Grom Social also sends report cards to alert parents of their child’s activity on the website.
This social media website also allows users to make online friends and explore a variety of topics including entertainment, sports, health, education, and games.
Grom Social sounds like an awesome website for kids who want to explore the internet and make friends while remaining safe. Although there are still a lot of kids who use Facebook and Twitter, let’s hope this site catches on as a cooler alternative for the young set.
Have you joined Grom Social yet and if so, what do you think of it? Do you think kid-friendly social media websites will catch on in the near future? Tell us your thoughts on all of this!