Popular and very often spotted on TV, tween expert Denise Restauri has teamed up with few other tween experts to relaunch Allykatzz.com, which positions itself as a teen age girl blogging and community platform. The site offers features such as profile page, blogging tools, contests, games and even a gift store.
Allykattzz claims its a fun and yet 100% safe destination for teenage girls to hang out. On AllyKatzz, girls do NOT post personally identifiable information including pictures of their faces, email addresses, last names, home addresses and phone numbers. AllyKatzz hires college students and adults to read every word and review every photo before they are posted on the site which should give some sense of secure feeling for the 10 to 15 year olds and their parents.
While it looks like seeing the world through other girls’ eyes and tackling real issues, getting creative and having fun are the things AllyKatzz.com promises, I am wondering if that would be enough to create an impact in the space. Some of the so called prominent players in this space are no more, and out of the few left, gurl.com and seventeen look like they are heading some where.
The founding team at Allykatzz bring tremendous amount of entrepreneurial experience and that of working on services and products catering to children. The combination should work in their favor to offer a compelling and different service for the tweens. The target audience they have identified is definitely lucrative if effectively reached out. In 2009, nearly half of all teen internet users bought goods such as apparel, books and music online. An even higher percentage would have made such purchases if they had more spending money and access to a credit card. Several payment alternatives like debit cards and student accounts not only enable teens to buy on the web but also let parents set spending limits and monitor payment activity. In making purchase decisions, teens rely on social media and mobile phones in both conventional and innovative ways. They share news about bargains with close friends through mobile phones and social networking sites.
A cursory look at the site gives me the notion they are still WIP, hence my 5 cents would be to have the Beta tag on. The user interface and visual appeal for these kind of sites is one area where many find it difficult to strike a balance. The dilemma of making it colourful and fun often overrules the necessity of making it user friendly and clean. Seventeen and AOL teen have done a decent job of balancing both this.
Denise Restauri is a frequent commentator on the subject of tween girls on national television, newspapers, magazines and radio programs including CBS Early Show, The Today Show, BBC America, ABC, NPR, E!Online, USA TODAY, People Magazine, More Magazine and many others. She has more than 25 years of marketing and sales experience, including nine years as VP of Sales for USA TODAY. One noticeable point about the way Allykatzz has been functioning , is the importance and effectiveness with which they conduct offline activities. Their efforts in conducting tween summit and bringing tweens together to interact and partake in real world activities has to be commented. Below is a video from their 2009 Tween Summit.
Denise Restauri at the AllyKatzz National Tween Summit ’09