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Thursday, August 28, 2008

ClubPenguin's newest competition

The New York Post calls it competition for Disney's kid virtual world, but it looks a whole lot more like competition for MGA Entertainment's Be-Bratz.com, the online world for Bratz doll fans, and Mattel's BarbieGirls.com (all three so very pink and purple - girls do like other colors!). The new kid on the block is ZwinkyCuties.com, now in beta testing and launching in mid-September, the Post reports. Interestingly, founder Barry Diller told the Post that his company, IAC, created ZwinkyCuties after "turning away thousands of users who attempted to register for [its two-year-old teen site] Zwinky.com, but didn't meet the site's age requirement of at least 13 years old." Like ClubPenguin, ZwinkyCuties will be subscription-based, not advertising-based (unlike at Zwinky.com, where teens users "purchase virtual currency on an a la carte basis using credit cards and PayPal accounts"). For insights into what sometimes goes on in kids' online worlds, see "Top 8 workarounds of kid virtual-world users."

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