KidZui, a good source for connected parents seeking peace of mind, is now making its site and service free. The start-up dropped the $5 monthly fee for its current offering and will charge only for premium features.
The service includes a browser aimed at 3-to-12-year-olds. The browser restricts kids to age-appropriate sites vetted by a team of professional educators and volunteers.
We've been using KidZui since it launched a couple of months ago, and so far, it's worked as advertised. We've not seen our kids finding anything troubling, if you exclude mindless games and silly videos.
The site tries to organize the Web into categories for surfing, which hasn't seemed that useful yet. And it's designed to encourage kids to share good finds with friends also in the service.
But so far, there haven't been any. I'm not sure we would have stuck with it, except KidZui had said it would be free to beta testers, which included us. I hesitated to encourage acquaintances to get online because of the $5 monthly fee, which was supposed to go to $10.
Even $5 seemed steep, an impression that apparently was widely held. Start-ups don't usually give away something they can sell, right? The company apparently thought it has a better chance at success if it gets a community built. I hope KidZui is right.