Facebook Launches New Messenger Kids App

Facebook Launches New Messenger Kids App

FB says that the goal of the new Messenger Kids app is to let children keep in contact with family and friends, while still giving parents control.

While parents might love Messenger Kids, it remains to be seen if children will want use an app that their parents control.

Messenger Kids will be downloaded onto a child's device but will be controlled by the parent.

Messenger for Kids launched Monday and is now only available through the Apple App Store, with Amazon and Google Play appearing "in the coming months", the Facebook press release said. The company emphasised that Parents will have full control of who their child interacts with on Messenger Kids.

Facebook said there will be plenty of safeguards built into Messenger Kids.

McMaster: Potential for war with North Korea 'increasing every day'
We've got more newsletters we think you'll find interesting. "We're asking China not to do us or anybody else a favor", he said. "The US aircraft that have landed on South Korea include six F-22s, six F-35s, six EA-18Gs", the official said.

Children can start one-on-one or group video or text chats with approved contacts, sending videos, photos, gifs and other creative elements from a library of screened drawing tools, frames, gifs, masks and stickers. Kids can also block and report users themselves, and parents will find out about it. Facebook will monitor all reports and ban harmful accounts. The company also says Messenger Kids won't show ads or collect data for marketing. This, combined with the fact that parents have to approve each of their children's contacts, should prevent phony accounts from appearing on the platform, a practice that's become a huge problem for Facebook. This doesn't create a Facebook account for the child or give them access to the parent's account. Android users will also get a version of the Messenger Kids at some point in the future. "A website operator must include in a privacy policy, when and how to seek verifiable consent form a parent and what responsibilities an operator has to protect children's privacy and safety online".

The social network giant said children between the ages of 6 and 11 are most likely to gravitate toward the standalone app, raising concerns about its safety in the hands of such youngsters.

Kids can use the app to chat with friends, make calls, using kid-friendly images and filters. The app, which does not require a phone number for making an account, rules out the possibility of anyone outside the contact list from connecting with the kid.

Sensing it could face criticism for developing a product that would help convert kids to regular Facebook users after they turn thirteen, Facebook cleverly prepared a defense in advance, notes The Verge.

At this time, Messenger Kids will be available in the App Store for iPad, iPod touch and iPhone devices for those in the United States, and will be coming to Amazon App Store and Google Play Store in the coming months. That is still restricted to children age 13 and up.

Related Articles