Facebook 'Messenger Kids' Lets Under-13s Chat with Whom Parents Approve

Introducing Messenger Kids, a New App For Families to Connect | Facebook Newsroom

Introducing Messenger Kids, a New App For Families to Connect | Facebook Newsroom

Facebook's new Messenger Kids, aimed at children 12 and younger, enables kids to interact with contacts approved by parents. But as with any electronic devices, parents should closely monitor and regulate children's use of a device and their time spent on it so that it does not displace other developmentally appropriate activities such as outdoor-play, exercise time, or face-to-face interactions with peers.

While Facebook said in the briefing that the app was designed for kids age 6 to 12, younger kids are allowed on, too.

You can set your child up with a Messenger Kids account with four easy steps.

With the new Messenger Kids app, kids can send photos, videos or text messages to their parent-approved friends and adult relatives, who will receive the messages via their regular app. Kids can start a one-on-one or group video chat with parent-approved contacts using the app.

Messenger Kids comes with a variety of controls for parents.

The signup process needs nothing more than the name of the child.

Kids still can't be found through Facebook search, which protects their privacy. This will not create a Facebook account for your child or give them access to your Facebook account.

Some individuals and groups have expressed concerns about the new app and questioned Facebook's true intentions for opening the service up to young users. Messenger Kids, meanwhile, is a result of seeing what kids like, which is images, emoji and the like.

It is reported by UNN with reference to the official website of the company. It also reserves the right to share information with other firms as necessary - such as customer service providers or companies that can help it analyze how the app is being used. Kids wanting to add another kid as their contact must have approval from the parents of both the kids, in addition to the condition that the parents should also be connected in Facebook through their accounts.

Facebook's focus on younger children raised some alarm bells, however. "But why should parents simply trust that Facebook is acting in the best interest of kids?" said Jim Steyer, executive director of Common Sense Media, in a statement. "By designing an ad-free and safe environment for children, Facebook is playing a leadership role in developing responsible corporate practices that could be the basis for industry-wide guidelines". Then the device can be handed over to the child so they can start chatting with the family and friends you approve.

Facebook has been careful to comply with the law, Montgomery said. "I think we're at an interesting moment, and there are a lot of moves into that marketplace".

Facebook made the controversial decision back in 2014 to remove private messaging from the main app, moving it instead into Facebook Messenger. The company has no plans to release a similar kids-only platform for its other main social network, Instagram.

The Center for Digital Democracy praised Facebook for creating a "walled garden" approach to the new messenger service. Still, a reporting interface written specifically for kids lets them flag anything sketchy to a dedicated support team working 24/7.

"The reality is that kids are going to go use apps if they're under 13", he said.

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