Facebook launches parent-controlled Messenger app for kids
Facebook launches parent-controlled Messenger app for kids
Jeremy Hunt Safe to say he’s not a fan of Messenger Kids
06 December, 2017, 00:10
While children do use messaging and social media apps designed for teenagers and adults, those services aren't built for them, said Kristelle Lavallee, a children's psychology expert who advised Facebook on designing the service.
Called Messenger Kids, the app lets children safely message and video chat with their friends and family, and contains a kid-appropriate library of GIFs, stickers, and messages.
Every child account on Messenger Kids must be set up by a parent.
Facebook said Messenger Kids won't show ads or collect data for marketing, though it will collect some data it says are necessary to run the service.
Download: First, download the Messenger Kids app on your child's iPad, iPod touch, or iPhone from the App Store.
Messenger kids is a standalone app that lives on kids' tablets or smartphones but can be controlled from a parent's Facebook account.
Facebook Messenger's head David Marcus said, "It's really hard to keep the control over who [kids] communicate with, how they communicate, what tools are at their disposal".
Parents control Messenger Kids’ contact list and can look at who their children have been talking
Facebook also confirms that it's taking great measures to make sure that the app doesn't come off in any way exploitative. The new app is available for preview in the US App Store for now, with plans to expand onto the Google Play and the Amazon App stores in the coming months.
Messenger Kids gives parents more control. At the end, to add people to your child's approved contact list, go to the Messenger Kids parental controls panel in your main Facebook app.
Kids don't get a separate Facebook or Messenger account; rather, it will be a feature which will be given an extension to their parent's account.
Facebook's rules require that children be at least 13 to create an account, but many are believed to get around the restrictions. We created this app based on feedback from thousands of parents around the country through roundtables, focus groups, and discussions with many third-party experts.
Messenger kids allows children to talk, send photos, videos and text messages to friends who are approved by their parents and adult relatives.
Kids said they want to use the platforms to have fun and connect with family. It is free to use and does not feature in-app purchases.
He was joined in his criticism by leading children's society Barnardo's, which said the firm is targeting kids too young to use social media responsibly.
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Facebook unveils Messenger app for kids
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