Disney the Latest Looking to Score with Social Media
Disney launched a new social network today as an extension of its site Family.com. The social part encourages moms and dads to "share the pride of being a parent".
Focusing on Parents
Family.com has served as the company’s outlet for adults rather than its usual target market of children. It is basically (as Paul Glazowski at Mashable describes) a content network. Parents can use it to find recipes, parenting tips, entertainment articles, and more. It is quite different to Disney’s other big online entity Disney Xtreme Digital, which is geared more toward the children themselves in typical Disney fashion.
Another Niche Social Network
Niche social networks don’t always work, but with the Disney brand, it’s hard to go wrong in terms of success. This site may inspire many parents who don’t even know what social networking is, to join their first online community, because that’s just the kind of power Disney has. Those parents who are already into social networking will likely find a comfortable new environment for connecting with strangers who may come off just a little more trustworthy (even if undeservedly so) because that Disney logo isn’t too far away from their profile.
"Parents are increasingly sharing experiences, offering support and telling insightful stories about their families online through message boards and social networking," says Vice President of Disney’s Family Group, Emily Smith. "Disney Family.com Community creates a new online forum that combines social networking and insightful content to bring moms and dads together to make important connections while having fun."
Disney Family.com Community features not only the ability to create unique profiles, but a search feature that finds likeminded parents based on "stickers" they label themselves with, depicting their interests. Users can also join groups like "recipe swap" and "birthday party ideas", and new groups can be created where private messages can be delivered.
The site also offers a variety of widgets that users can add to their profiles to stay current on specific topics of interest. In their announcement, Disney offered "Kid Sayings," "Family Photo Journalism," "What’s for Dinner?" and "Shiny, Sparkling Homes" as examples.
To encourage parents to sign up for the network, they’re giving away prizes every day for an entire month. Prizes given away so far include: a web-cam, a tent, a wind chime, and an air purifier.
Parents looking to network with others and who feel like MySpace and Facebook are lacking that wholesome family element, should find solace in this new community from Disney. That is the biggest thing this site has going for it.