Facebook launches messenger for kids under 13

Share

But on Monday, Facebook introduced an app, called Messenger Kids, that is targeted to that age group and asks parents to give their approval so children can message, add filters and doodle on photos they send to one another.

"After talking to thousands of parents, associations like National PTA and parenting experts in the USA, we found that there's a need for a messaging app that lets kids connect with people they love but also has the level of control parents want", said Loren Cheng, a product management director at Facebook. After adults enter their Facebook account information into the app, they are asked to create the child's profile and which friends or relatives he or she will be allowed to connect with on Messenger. Parents have to use their Facebook email address and password to activate their child's account, but that does not log a parent into their child's device.

Facebook's new Messenger Kids, aimed at children 12 and younger, enables kids to interact with contacts approved by parents.

The app launches on Apple's App Store first.

Facebook says the app complies with USA child online privacy laws and contains no adverts. Facebook is indeed coming for your kids. Soon there will be a version for users of the Android platform.

Facebook has a minimum age requirement of 13, enforced by the American Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998, however tech-savvy pre-teens have already shown this to be easily bypassed. A recent Family Online Safety Institute study found that parents are more skeptical of the benefits of social media for their children then they are of smartphones or even wearable devices.

The social media giant has launched a new app allowing young children to send messages through Facebook.

But, he said it remains to be seen whether the app will continue to stay ad-free.


Children and parents can block any contacts at any time.

Facebook hired a special team to develop kid-friendly creative tools, from fidget spinner and dinosaur AR masks to crayon-style stickers. "It's just like setting up a play date", Davis said.

The Facebook app, which aims to give children access to Messenger while still allowing parental control, was questioned by some media organizations and experts during its release earlier this week.

One thing that might surprise some people is that there's no way for parents to secretly spy on what their kids are saying in their chats.

"While we appreciate Facebook taking steps to protect this vulnerable population by including parental controls, establishing an ad-free environment and restricting some data collection, we remain concerned about where sensitive information collected through this app could end up and for what objective it could be used".

"While kids have more ways than ever to learn and benefit from online experiences, three out of four parents say they worry about their kids' online safety and want more control".

Some of these guidelines ensure that the kids' welfare is the topmost priority while keeping them entertained when using the new Facebook app.

Share