Disney XD Offers Social Pages to Preteens

dell takes a slice at apple with super thin latitude z dellz closed

Disney has unveiled a new feature for its recently launched (and still beta) Disney Xtreme Digital (a.k.a. Disney XD) service, tapping into the ever-popular social networking buzz by enabling preteens to create their own Web pages. Disney XD is aimed at broadband-enabled preteens and kids aged 14 and under; unlike famously freewheeling sites like MySpace, parents can have control over childrens’ online activities on the site, and the company hopes to keep kids’ Disney XD pages clean by limiting kids to using Disney-supplied content on their pages.

Disney unveiled the new home page feature at a New York City event featuring current teen heartthrob Corbin Bleu, star of the popular Disney properties High School Musical and Jump In. The site also features Bleu-themed games, and Bleu’s new Disney album debuted on Disney XD.

The new home page feature enables kids to pull together media, music, videos, and games from within the Disney XD site and assemble them into a custom page, which they can also dress up with Disney-supplied graphics and character elements.

Since its launch earlier this year, Disney XD has been ramping up its interactive offerings. Members are encouraged to play games, view video, and participate in interactive elements which earn members points; these points can be used to purchase items for use on the site, including animated contraptions and "stickers" for use on kids’ personal home pages.

As part of the company’s efforts to keep the site safe for children—and prevent kids from revealing personal information or using profanity—an interactive chat feature was limited to trading pre-written messages and phrase. Now, with parental approval, kids can go beyond the stock messages and use chat features interactively.

Disney XD has been criticized for its heavy promotion of Disney properties and marketing messages: within the Disney XD site, it’s almost impossible to separate site functionality and features from Disney branding and marketing messages. In launching the new home page feature, Disney executive VP and managing director of Disney Online told Reuters in an interview: "I want tons of kids immersed in my brands and franchises. What better marketer do I have than a kid?"

Movies & TV

The Mandalorian snags Taika Waititi as the voice of a classic Star Wars villain

The Mandalorian, Jon Favreau's live-action Star Wars series planned for Disney's streaming video service, will be one of the most expensive television shows ever made. Here's everything we know about it so far.

A new hope is lost as Disney dismisses rumors of a revival of Lucasfilm Games

According to job listings on the Disney website, the company has plans to revive Lucasfilm Games. This comes as a surprise following the shuttering of LucasArts in 2013 and could potentially mean more Star Wars games.
Home Theater

ESPN Plus scores the exclusive rights to UFC Pay-Per-View events

If MMA is your game, then ESPN Plus is now a very important player. The Disney-owned service locked up the exclusive rights to UFC Pay-Per-View events, a deal that will last through 2025 in the United States.
Movies & TV

Disney completes its $71.3 billion purchase of 21st Century Fox

Now that Walt Disney Company has closed its $71.3 billion purchase of 21st Century Fox's movie and television assets, what does this future hold for franchises like X-Men, the Fantastic Four, The Simpsons, and the rest?

Walmart drops prices on Google Home Hub and Lenovo smart displays

Walmart slashed the prices of Google Home smart displays for two highly regarded Lenovo models and the original Google Home Hub. We can't think of a better way to improve your smart home setup and these deals can help you save up to $100.

Amazon lowers Echo Dot cost and slashes price of the Dot and Smart Plug bundle

Amazon just unleashed extraordinary price cuts on third-generation Echo Dot smart speakers. The Alexa device is back in stock following the blowout sales last holiday season. The Echo Dot is the best-selling Alexa smart speaker worldwide.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Robotic companions and computer-aided karaoke

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!
Smart Home

These best outdoor security cameras will keep porch pirates at bay

Worried about porch pirates stealing your packages, or intruders entering your home? Always be in the know about who or what is on your property by installing one of these outdoor security cameras.
Smart Home

Your Instant Pot can do it all. Research says it has another important function

Researchers at Dakota State University tested a variety of pressure cookers for sterilization and found that Instant Pot provides enough pressure and heat to kill off food-spoiling bacteria.
Smart Home

Need some help? Here's our handy step-by-step guide on how to Airbnb your home

Getting ready to make your home a great rental? Here's how to Airbnb your home with the right amenities, insurance, supplies, and everthing else that you need. Use this guide to get started without making beginner mistakes!

Dyson sale shatters prices on vacuums just in time for spring cleaning

Steep price cuts on Dyson vacuum cleaners for the spring cleaning season help you save money on the tools you need to do the job. We've found the best discounts on Dyson vacuums from Amazon and Walmart and put them all in one place.

Amazon slashes prices on Echo devices that play Alexa’s sweetest-sounding music

Amazon slashed prices on Alexa-controlled Echo devices with the best music sound quality. All Alexa smart speakers stream music, but some sound better than others. Save on Echo Plus and the Echo Sub bundled with Echo and Echo Plus speakers.
Product Review

Simple and small, the Google Home Hub is your low-key smart screen

What’s small, simple, cute, and lacks a camera? The Google Home Hub is the latest smart display to hit the market. Powered by Google Assistant, there’s a lot to like about this device.
Smart Home

Arlo listens to feedback, improves video quality for its premier security camera

Arlo relaunched its flagship Arlo Ultra 4K HDR security camera system with worldwide availability. Arlo fixed issues from a limited early release and now the marquee brand is available in multiple configurations with A.I-driven monitoring.