With one-seventh of the population of the world on Facebook, the company has now turned to make it easier for kids. With that in mind, Facebook has launched a version of Messenger that is exclusively for kids. Called Messenger Kids, the app has been launched for preview in the US for iOS on Apple iPhone and iPads.
Facebook is targetting the children-friendly alternative of the Messaging App to the age group of 6 to 12-year-olds with this update. This ought to increase the number of users they have on a regular basis now.
To use Messenger Kids, parents have to use their own profile to log into the app and then authenticate the device that their ward is going to use. According to Facebook, parents have full control of what kids do with their app and these controls are available on the main Facebook app. According to the company, the app was designed in association with parents and safety organizations and in compliance with the Children’s Online Privacy and Protection Act (COPPA).
Since kids under the age of 13 are not allowed on Facebook, this is their gateway into the social media platform. Facebook claims that the Messenger Kids app will not be monetized kids and will not have any in-app purchases.
For the functioning of the Messenger Kids app, as we mentioned earlier, parents have to log into the app with their own account and kids won’t need their own phone number or account. Kids won’t be able to add friends on their own and would require their parents to do it for them. And this would work if the parents of both the kids who want to become friends are friends on Facebook.
Parents will have the choice to remove contacts on the app as well, and this will not be reversible from the children’s end. Though kids can report and block others on the app and parents will be notified of this action.
The app is tailored for devices that kids might be using and not of the devices of the parents that already have the Facebook Messenger app. The visual elements on the app are much more than the regular Messenger app and has features like video chat, emoji, GIFs, stickers, selfie frames and AR masks and filters.
This comes as an attempt from Facebook to get the younger generations hooked to Facebook from a young age while giving parents the means to control their exposure. This follows Google’s attempt to do something similar, as they announced an update to YouTube whereby parents will have more control over what their children see and the channels they access.
Here’s the promo video of the Messenger Kids app: