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Kobo to Retire Kobo Kids Accounts on 3 April

Back in 2013 Kobo responded to the then-current hand-wringing over adult content in ebookstores by launching a Kids Account option which had limited access to only what Kobo considered age-appropriate content (and could only buy ebooks with gift cards).

I think I may be the only person who ever used the program (and I am certainly the only one in media who wrote about it). I just got an email announcing that Kobo is ending the program:

Dear Valued Customer,

We wanted to let you know we have decided to retire Kobo Kids’ Accounts beginning April 3, 2018. Although we’ll no longer support accounts for children, we will continue to offer eBooks and audiobooks for young readers of any age.

As of April 3, all existing Kobo Kids’ Accounts will be merged with their corresponding parents’ accounts. This means any books and store credit on your child’s account will automatically be transferred to your own account.

I had one book in the kids account, and a credit for $10.51 which i must have added when I opened the account four years ago, and now both will be added to my main Kobo account.

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Duncan March 5, 2018 um 4:09 am

You certainly weren’t the only one to use the Kids Account feature. It was a great idea! Their excuse that they think 'parents and children should read together' is all well and good for young children, but doesn’t cut it for teenagers. As far as I can make out, they’ve shot themselves in the foot when it comes to the 9-16 year old bracket. At that age children really don’t want you reading with them, and no parent in their right mind would give a child their own kobo account attached to either theirs or their child’s debit/credit card – my daughter would be skint in a week at the rate she reads books. Maybe I’m being daft but I can’t see another option from kobo, in which case we’ll look elsewhere for a family-friendly ebook account.

Nate Hoffelder March 5, 2018 um 7:41 am

I am all for having sub-accounts that restricted access to payment controls, but Kobo did it wrong. They also filtered the content to what Kobo deemed was age appropriate, and they made it impossible to share a book between the the main and sub accounts.

So if you wanted to share an non-YA book with your teen, Kobo wouldn’t let you. That’s just a bad idea from beginning to end. It was simply unsuitable for most situations.

Duncan March 5, 2018 um 8:12 am

What’s the alternative? I need to find something, and something that preferably works on their ebooks.

Paul March 7, 2018 um 6:28 pm

I have 3 kids accounts which probably combined has at least 50 books. The kids reread these books and now it seems they will end up in my account. How will they read them now? Using my account credentials? Won’t work because they all need their own account since they 'borrow" books from the public library. Additionally I don’t want the 9 year old boy having access to the 16 year old girls account. We would have set things up differently to start with.

Ros Jackson March 13, 2018 um 10:49 am

I had one too, set up for my son. The trouble is, what happens when a child ages out of their kids account? It would make more sense to split it off into a full adult account at age 18, but perhaps the take up was too low for this to be worthwhile for them, or perhaps there were legal reasons they couldn’t automatically create accounts for people.

Nate Hoffelder March 13, 2018 um 1:19 pm

Yes, there was no room for growth – I thought that was a fundamental flaw of the service.

Nathalie Marshall March 30, 2018 um 6:30 pm

Annoyingly they are still allowing accounts to be created with no notification of this. I’ve just created one!! Bought my daughter a Kobo for her birthday on Sunday. Will have to re think tomorrow….

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