Today, Bolt Media has launched a new version of its social networking site Bolt.com 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, Bolt2.com, 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 Bolt2.com, Bolt.com 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 Myspace.com, 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.