Divides Youth Demographics


Today, Bolt Media has launched a new version of its social networking site in an effort to isolate the activities of its more mature, 18 and older users from its wide demographic of teens, preteens, and tweens. An additional site,, has been created to continue catering to this younger crowd and to retain advertisers who specifically market towards them. While brands like Kellogg’s and Nintendo have been redirected to, will now have the opportunity to host more adult-oriented advertising like R-rated movies and automobiles.

While both sites play host to the content-creating and content-sharing habits of nearly all online youth, Bolt Media found it difficult to maintain an appropriate message and relevant advertising for such a wide range of ages. “We couldn’t sit here and say we have stuff that’s appropriate for 9-year-olds and stuff that’s appropriate for 30-year-olds,” said Bolt Media CEO Aaron Cohen. “It’s not fair to the consumers, and it’s not fair to the advertisers.”

Bolt has not yet commented on whether or not the move is related to the recent stream of controversy over social networking rival, which has been used by sexual predators to target young users who overexpose personal information. Explicitly separating younger users from the mature crowd by creating two different sites could be an effective solution to this problem.


  1. This article is completely wrong.

    The Bolt2 site attracts older users interested in conversation. The new site, (formerly the location of the Bolt2 content) seems to have many more younger members focused on posting inappropriate photos of themselves to get attention.

  2. I think a lot of the same people use both sites. Though obviously bolt will now attract more new people than bolt2. This has got nothing to do with what is best for the consumers. If bolt paid any attention to us at all bolt2 would still be called bolt and bolt would still be called boltfolio. bolt2 is a place to chat, bolt is a place to put pictures and videos. Really they should both be part of the same site. And where do the American Idol boards fit into all this? The average age on those has to be about 49.

  3. Eh, I disagree. Bolt created in order to try and compete with webpages like myspace. It has nothing to do with age, as half the people on are nasty 16 year olds posting porn of themselves. Most of the older crowd has gone to, as the pornographic atmosphere of the new bolt is not appealing. is just as bad, if not worse than myspace when it comes to the sexuality aspect. And it was a bad move on their part. They didn’t listen to their members and what they wanted, and they’ve been ignoring a lot of their more loyal members. Did you know that bolt2 only has ONE staff member in charge of the entire site? Aaron Cohen is full of crap.

  4. I could not agree more with the comments posted already by all of the above. It would have been a much better idea to just add videos and the like to the existing instead of making it a new site that encourages teenagers to post porn.

    I love (the real bolt) and the creation of the new Bolt was about the worst idea ever. They are sinking their own ship in a futile attempt to compete with MySpace.

  5. I see your points. I think Bolt is trying to create a rival to MySpace in disguise of “a new creative outlet” while leaving little staff (one member!) over at Bolt2 to clean up the damage and try to keep it as PG as possible in regards to the porn.

    Really, Bolt wants to make money, and however they can do that, they’ll go for it. If that means prepubescent kids exposing their breasts, then so be it. I’ve never exactly understood their priorities fully.

  6. Ah yes, and I do agree with Dave in regards to the Bolt sinking its own ship to compete with MySpace comment.

  7. The “new bolt” is a joke, it’s nothing more then a Bolt attempt at myspace. On Bolt2, you have the more older population, let’s say, the veterans of the original Bolt, sticking around, having their fun and their same routines. Your demographics are obviously incorrect because, the majority, well the ones who’s opinions actually have intelligence behind them, say the new Bolt, is nothing.

    Oh and look at the massive amounts of unappropriate content that seems to be filling up the new Bolts pages…

  8. Also you suggest in the article that you are trying to split the demographic up in order to try to protect younger users from sexual predators. How is that going to work exactly? Sexual predators will just go where ever the kids are, can quite easily lie about their age if they want to, and with less adults around to observe what is going on, children will actually be more vulnerable. That’s the worst excuse for the creation of the new bolt ever.

  9. Yes, I think Alice makes some pretty obvious points, but then, maybe they are only obvious to people more familiar with the ways of the internet. At any rate, if there is one general thing that we all can agree upon, it is that Bolt has shot itslef in the foot by creating the new Bolt and turning the old one into Bolt2.

  10. I have to agree with what everyone else has already said. I’ve been on Bolt for six years under various screennames and myself and many of the old regs have just stayed on what is now Bolt2. The younger kids are the ones who are gravitating to the Myspace ripoff known as the new Bolt.

    I’m a little confused as to why Aaron Cohen seems to think that all of us who have been around forever would transfer to the new Bolt instead of staying on the site that has the format we know and love. The new Bolt is very similar to Myspace and other websites that cater to a younger demographic. Until reading this article, I had assumed that the new Bolt was created for the younger kids.

    I have not spent much time on the new Bolt because, as everyone has already stated, it seems to focus on a younger age group that seems to have no real purpose in being there other than to expose themselves and in some cases post intimate details of their lives.

    I realize that Bolt’s main objective is bringing in money from advertisers by creating a place that attracts teens, but I really think they need to keep a better eye on the kinds of things those teens are posting.

    The last time I looked at the new Bolt there was a photo of someone’s panty-clad rear right on the front page; if Bolt execs are trying to attract pedophiles then they’re doing an excellent job of it. Splitting the sites isn’t going to keep the pedophiles out, it’s only going to prompt them to create accounts on the new Bolt in order to be closer to the teens. AL1ce said it very well in her second post.

  11. The whole idea about having a media site come about after the huge success of myspace has me believe that it’s just an attempt to compete with another site, instead of pleasing the old “regs” of the original Bolt.

    People have constantly said to “give it time” and we’ll warm up to the new Bolt, but we haven’t…doesn’t Aaron understand why? The reason so many of us stay at Bolt is because we don’t want a myspace ripoff. The boards and tagbooks and badges are what makes Bolt2 fun. Instead of trying to get a new crowd of members, why couldn’t they try and please the old regulars first? It’s a lot harder and more rewarding to keep old members happy than to just continue gaining more and more members.

    The only big thing is is that if people from Bolt wanted a media site, then just go to myspace…Bolt is so much more special than that.


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