We recently introduced you to Tweegee, the online children’s platform born in Israel that, after finding success in Russia and Turkey, has expanded into Latin America. This week, we learned a bit more about Tweegee’s Argentine component, Twigis, which launched just one short month ago with the help of Grupo Vi-da.
Though Twigis is a new player in the Latin American children’s market, the company has taken off quite quickly, already having reached 16,000 registered users and 300,000 unique monthly visitors. It boasts and 18-minute navigation average time per child.
The website’s quick takeoff piqued our interest, so we reached out to project manager Demian Falestchi. Falestchi took some time out to tell us about the platform, providing us some insight into its life thus far and at the same time revealing his own excitement about the project.
Tweegee Takes Latin America
We know that Tweegee places a lot of focus on localization and the adaptation of content specifically to the target market in each country it takes on. We were curious as to what, if anything, could be transferred by the company’s experience in Russia and Turkey to the Argentine marketplace. Falestchi ensured us that Tweegee is a platform designed for multiple cultures; however, because it is localized for each, beyond the platform’s basic structure, it does not have a lot of fluidity across markets. Each society and culture is unique, so the platform has to be adapted to habits and customs accordingly.
As a general rule, Twigis stands largely on its own, even departing significantly from Tweegee in Brazil, the company’s other Latin American destination. Despite the physical proximity of Brazil and Argentina, the platform has taken on a different life in each, Brazil representing a completely distinct market than that faced by Twigis Argentina. While it has been used as a sort of a thermometer for certain topics and features, in general, the two locales are considered separately, simply sharing information with each other in the same way they do with the platform’s teams in Europe.
Though Twigis has been quite successful in gaining attention quite quickly, the company still has rather a long way to go in terms of capturing the large audience the Argentine public can provide. For this reason, it is in the process of rolling out a number of marketing strategies to spread the word.
Online, the team has launched various ad campaigns and placed banners on websites directed at kids, such as gaming sites. Falestchi pointed out the concentration on design in these efforts, making sure that the ads are attractive and in line with the Twigis aesthetic.
Offline, Twigis has implemented a number of marketing tactics via television, radio and billboards. The Twigis team is most excited about the launch of the Twigis bus next week – a bus that will be out in about in Buenos Aires allowing kids to get on board and play games, use tablets, make webcam videos and win prizes. The bus will also head to Rosario and Córdoba in the months to come.
A Kid-Specific Aim
As Twigis is directed at tweens – children ages six through 12 – we know that there is a fine balance to be achieved in appeasing both children and parents.
Falestchi explained Twigis’ goal of setting parents’ minds at ease with Twigis, helping them to be confident in the safety of their children’s online experiences. To that end, Twigis has employed a large team of moderators who monitor every single action on the site, including usernames, comments, comics created, tweets and more. This attentiveness of Twigis’ moderation efforts allow them to catch virtually all questionable activity and solve any problems that appear immediately.
But while Falestchi was clear in the importance of the tranquility of parents, his passion for the experience of children with Twigis was undeniable. Monitors aren’t around just to check up on bad behavior – these individuals are also expected to respond to requests and sign-ups immediately, making sure that children are not forced to wait hours or days to start using the site. As kids are able to sign up and interact alone, he indicated that immediacy is key.
Falestchi further highlighted children’s autonomy and the importance it holds on the Twigis site. While the platform encourages diversion, it also fosters creativity and independence. Children are able to express themselves freely on the site through forums and chat rooms. They can create their own comics and adjust their user images to fit their own tastes. Twigis also seeks to inform kids, placing news pieces on the site related to real-life issues and encouraging opinions.
Standing Out from the Crowd
Falestchi admitted that, in terms of market, Twigis has a number of competitors. There are sites and platforms that have the same target (tweens) and compete for the hours spent in front of the computer screen. However, on a product level, Falestchi explained that Twigis has no real competitors.
As opposed to other websites on the market, Twigis is a truly social platform where content is created by children themselves. Through Twigis, children express feelings of anger and frustration as well as of happiness. They ask questions, participate in competitions, act creatively and win prizes. Twigis isn’t just about entertainment, it’s about expression, and with this goal in mind, it is a truly novel idea.
Another important factor that sets Twigis apart? It is completely free of charge. Twigis’ revenues will come from advertising, which it’s in the process of rolling out now. While a number of brands have expressed interest in getting involved, the Twigis team is taking its time in developing a prudent plan of action. Today’s children are smarter than ever and realize when they’re being sold to immediately, so it’s important for advertising efforts be strategized in such a way that they are fun and don’t interfere with user experience.
A Pleasant Surprise
What became most evident in our conversation was the value the Twigis team places on children and their ability to express themselves freely and make their own decisions. Falestchi said that his team is surprised each and every day at the things kids do and say on the platform, at how very intelligent and unique they all are. With this, the Twigis team has evidence that it is on the right track in their work.