Zigazoo is, ‘a controlled environment where kids are creating… as opposed to passively consuming content’: Zigazoo Co-Founders
Zak and Leah Ringelstein, Co-Founders of Zigazoo joined Yahoo Finance to break down how Zigazoo became the ‘TikTok for kids’.
ADAM SHAPIRO: Let’s move on to something else which is also transforming the way people interact. This would be digital. TikTok for kids, it’s here. They’ve got some new funding. And we want to bring in Zigazoo co-founders, Zak and Leah Ringelstein. Did I pronounce your names correctly? I apologize. I butcher names repeatedly. Is it, Leah?
LEAH RINGELSTEIN: Leah Ringelstein.
ADAM SHAPIRO: Ringelstein, got you. Bernstein, Bernstein, I come from that line. So let me ask you, Leah, where did you get the idea? Because you had– you just got $4 million in new funding from Mac Venture Capital. And essentially, what you’re doing is you’re providing younger kids a safe place to do a TikTok-like environment.
LEAH RINGELSTEIN: Yeah, where do we get all great ideas from? Little people, right? So we’re stuck in our house with our three little kids. And that’s where we came up with the idea. We were the parents of a five, a three, and an eight-month-old. And we were trying to provide them with fun and educational experiences in a time when they didn’t have access to the world.
SEANA SMITH: I think this is a great idea. I have a two-year-old myself. So we’re always looking for educational videos and something to entertain him. But Zak, the big question is here I think a lot of parents would ask is, how are you monitoring the content on your site when you see so many other social media platforms struggle with this? So what’s your approach to this issue?
ZAK RINGELSTEIN: Yeah, so when we set out to do this, first of all, Leah and I are elementary school educators who have started and exited in a tech company in the past. And so we knew that from the beginning, we were building this for our kids. And we were building this to better humanity. And the only way to do that was by building a foundation of safety and health. And so every single video that you see on the platform is in response to a challenge.
So you might see Peanuts on today or Serena Williams’s dog [INAUDIBLE] on today or the Philadelphia Zoo on today. They’re building between challenges. Kids respond. And all of the content is moderated. Only kids are allowed to build challenges with their parents. And we have a positive only commitment. So we only have positive emojis and stickers. And so it’s a controlled environment where kids are creating. I mean, they’re taking their genius and creating, as opposed to just passively consuming content, like on YouTube or other platforms. And they’re doing it in response to really fun and educational prompts.
ADAM SHAPIRO: You know, we hear the stories out of Silicon Valley about how the people who work in Silicon Valley will not let their children use iPads or the apps like Instagram, those kinds of things. So in regards to this, I think a lot of parents are reassured with how you’ve just described it. But Leah, I’m curious, at the end of the day, how do you make money from this or at least, sustain it? Not necessarily make a profit, but sustain it. Is it through advertising? What’s the model?
LEAH RINGELSTEIN: Oh, you directed that at me. Sorry, I was thinking about parents using the app because we use it every day with our kids. So I know so deeply that the level of security and attention that goes into everything.
ADAM SHAPIRO: But do you get advertising? I mean, does the app know that there’s a parent working with the kid and the advertising directed at the parent, or is there no advertising?
ZAK RINGELSTEIN: Yeah, we have a no advertising policy on Zigazoo. And we actually– Common Sense Media recently spoke about us. And they called us. They said the existing social media platforms and other apps for kids can look to Zigazoo as an example of how to offer a socially safe place for children to be online. And that’s a quote. We’re really proud of that. Common Sense Media has very stringent ways of basically deciding whether or not apps are healthy and safe for kids. And we have been very, very thoughtful about that.
From a financial standpoint, I saw that on your ticker while we were waiting to jump on this call, that you saw Roblox. And so we’re monetizing in a very similar way to Roblox. They have their own secondary currency called Robucks. And we’re launching something called Ziga Bucks. And so Ziga Bucks will allow you to get to different levels within Zigazoo, as well as get you premium content, et cetera.
ADAM SHAPIRO: All right, we wish you and Zigazoo and all of it the best. Thank you so much for being here, co-founders Zak and Leah Ringelstein, co-founders of Zigazoo. And we’ll be right back.
This article was written by Yahoo! Finance