Facebook Releases a Messenger's Version for Kids

Dec 06, 2017, 00:44
Facebook Releases a Messenger's Version for Kids

But the prevention methods are trivial, meaning more than 20 million under-13-year-olds are thought to be using the network.

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Facebook, and others like Google, which has already launched YouTube Kids, argue that it's simply bringing younger (potential) users into the fold. On Monday the company unveiled a free video calling and messaging app called Messenger Kids. Whether it's using video chat to talk to grandparents, staying in touch with cousins who live far away, or sending mom a decorated photo while she's working late to say hi, Messenger Kids opens up a new world of online communication to families. "As children increasingly have access to tablets and smartphones at younger ages, parents shouldn't have to choose between giving kids access to no internet and the whole internet".

The new app offers not just text and video chat that can be managed via the parents' accounts.

Messenger Kids comes here with a swing and slew of the controls for their parents.

The social media giant added it designed the app because many children are going online without safeguards.

Facebook has added an array of effects to make the video chat more enjoyable for children.

I love the idea of a kid-centered app that is tethered to my Facebook account.

There are no ads or in-app purchases in Messenger Kids, and Facebook said the app is compliant with the Children's Online Privacy and Protection Act (COPPA), which requires a company targeting users under 13 to adhere to certain requirements, such as gaining parental consent before it collects users' personal information. " said Loren Cheng, Product Management Director, Facebook".

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.

Which is why the endgame is still fairly clear, even if Facebook is playing the "we only want to keep your kids safe" card. It is this demographic causing them the most headaches right now. But it's raised questions over whether it's wise for kids to start on social media that young.

"God only knows what it's doing to our children's brains", he said, reflecting on the small "dopamine hit" we get when someone gives us a "like" on social media.

Messenger features like location sharing and payments have been stripped out, while the Kids version of Giphy won't let you search for things like "sex".

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