Facebook To Launch Dedicated Messenger App for Preteens

Facebook To Launch Dedicated Messenger App for Preteens

Facebook has rolled out a preview of Messenger Kids, a new app created to make it easier for kids to safely video chat and message with family and friends, in the US.

Messenger Kids is also an excellent Messenger feature for children that would prevent abuse and ensure a great environment that they can enjoy.

The social network says the app has been created to enable children to "safely" video chat and message friends and family, and has been developed in consultation with parents and safety experts.

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.

With the age of digital literacy continually decreasing, Davis said that she hoped Facebook could safely introduce the next generation to the online world.

The free app is aimed at kids under the age of 13, who can't yet have their own accounts under Facebook's rules, though they often do.

Created to be compliant with the Children's Online Privacy and Protection Act (COPPA) which forbids children under the age of 13 from giving out their personal information without a parent's permission, every child account on Messenger Kids must be set up by a parent. For years, major tech firms such as Facebook complied with COPPA by not allowing those under 13 to have accounts. The app has so far only been released for Apple's iOS operating system, for use on iPads, iPhones and the iPod touch.

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"The reality is that kids are going to go use apps if they're under 13", he said. Then, using the Messenger Kids bookmark in the main Facebook app, parents can approve anyone who is friends with them as a contact for their kid, like aunts and uncles or godparents. Messenger Kids, meanwhile, is a result of seeing what kids like, which is images, emoji and the like. Facebook is indeed coming for your kids.

"My concern is safety, getting friend requests from people you don't know, chatting with people you don't know, giving out information to strangers", one parent participant in the National PTA roundtable said.

She cited research that shows some 93 percent of US kids ages six to 12 have access to tablets or smartphones - and 66 percent have their own device, often using apps meant for teens and adults. The new standalone app offers video and text chat to children while offering parents the ability to restrict who they can talk to. From there, kids can dive instantly into a video chat or text thread with their contacts.

But, he said it remains to be seen whether the app will continue to stay ad-free. Facebook has included a library of kid-appropriate and specially chosen GIFs, frames, stickers, masks, emojis, sound effects and drawing tools that kids can make use of while chatting with a parent-approved contact. "Video calls become so much more playful with AR", says Marcus.

"They use family-shared devices - and many, as young as six or seven years old, even have their own". Do you think Messenger Kids is a good idea? A dedicated support team will work 24/7 to address any flagged issues. Instead, parents have to ask to look at their kids' screen, which Chung says is a more common behavior pattern.

Those companies, in turn, must have their own privacy policies to protect children, the app's privacy policy said.

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.