Published: Thu, December 07, 2017
Hi-Tech | By Ellis Neal

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

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

Soon there will be a version for users of the Android platform.

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. After downloading the Messenger Kids app on your child's iPad, iPod touch or iPhone from the App store, you're required to authenticate your child's device using your own Facebook username and password.

Finally, Facebook stated that it is serious in aiding parents to monitor their children's use of the company messaging apps. Messenger Kids will also not feature any advertisements. The company took many cues from these conversations, said Antigone Davis, Facebook's head of global safety. Facebook actually manually selected a set of GIFs that kids can use rather than relying on a third-party startup to tag things well enough.

Children and parents can block any contacts at any time. "It's just like setting up a play date", Davis said. This is a law that is created to protect kids from online exploitation. When children turn 13, they won't instantly have their Messenger Kids profiles turned into real Facebook profiles, nor will they get kicked off Messenger Kids. But with technology moving deeper into the home and many firms looking for more growth, children have become a more attractive market.

It is noted that children will be able to complain about those users who are rude when communicating.

Facebook does not allow children under age 13 to create their own Facebook accounts. 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. The FTC did not respond to a request for comment. According to them, the management behind Facebook can perhaps see where this trend is going, given the many reasons behind the infamy of the app in terms of a variety of scandals going on out there. He says the idea of giving parents control over Messenger Kids is good.

Facebook on Monday announced it would be rolling out a preview of Messenger Kids in the United States, a new parent-controlled app to make it easier for kids to video chat and message with loved ones. You can then finish the setup process by creating an account for your child by simply providing their name. These guiding principles aim to make the new app both safe and fun for children. There is no information on when the app will be released outside of the U.S. Children can report bullying or any unwanted communication in the app.

Facebook's focus on younger children raised some alarm bells, however. The app does not contain ads and is free of in-app purchases. Thus, instead of signing into Facebook, they can communicate with their family or friends via Messenger Kids. "I think we're at an interesting moment, and there are a lot of moves into that marketplace".

Facebook's approach may encourage companies to create safer, more limited and legally compliant services for kids, said Larry Magid, chief executive of the nonprofit, one of many organizations Facebook briefed on the product ahead of its launch.

"They use family-shared devices - and many, as young as six or seven years old, even have their own".

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