Soon there will be a new search engine in town, and it’s solely focused on garnering the attention of children. Google is rolling out a kid-friendly version of its world-famous online research tool, called Quinn. That provokes the question: Could Quinn become the quintessential leader of youth-focused online branding?
While Quinn will focus on yielding search results that pander to its youthful demographic–specifically teens, preteens and adolescents—its founders will also be seeking ways to maximize on the profits that they could seek to benefit from gauging that population at a young age, something most other developers and companies have tried to stay away from, according to the Contra Costa Times.
One major advantage that a Quinn search could offer to the under-13 demographic is valuable research data that could help Google and other companies to better engage kids with technology that has failed to maintain their attention.
The challenge and opportunity here could lie in Quinn’s ability to provide parents with a sense of security in knowing searchable content will be age-appropriate. However, a large portion of the search engine’s success will also be contingent upon delivering a “cool factor” that will actually appeal to a thrill-seeking and very curious youth.
For example, a generic Google search for “trains” yields Amtrak train schedules, whereas a Quinn search might yield images of Thomas the Tank Engine.
— Thomas & Friends (@ThomasParent) November 27, 2014
Regardless of parental blocks and firewalls, kids seem to find a way to get through and already use Google, YouTube and Kik. And the vast majority of preteens are already using Google, with help from their parents who lie about their children’s age when they sign up for a gmail accounts, notes the Costa Times. A minimum age of 13 is required in order to attain a gmail address.
Preteens, teens, and adolescents even use apps such as SnapChat, which is rampant with risque photos and does not guarantee that they will be permanently deleted, as so many users were initially led to believe.
For example, SnapChat had created a kids version of its app called SnapKidz last year which was basically the same as its parent app with the exception that it incorporated requirements mandated under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which prohibits the dissemination of personal information from children under the age of 13. Kids reportedly still wound up using SnapChat.
Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter @AdelleNaz