Facebook 'Messenger Kids' lets under-13s chat with whom parents approve

Introducing Messenger Kids, a New App For Families to Connect | Facebook Newsroom

Is Facebook Messenger down? Multiple reports indicate mass outage this Tuesday

Kids will be able to send photos, videos or other messages to relatives or other contacts accessible through the primary Messenger app, and vice versa.

"A messenger app for kids under 13 that only parents can sign them up for sounds like a nice idea on its face", said James Steyer, the organisation's chief executive.

Once parents download the Facebook app to their child's iPad, iPod Touch or iPhone, they will authenticate it with their Facebook account.

Parents must then sign off on all their child's contacts, meaning that in theory they can not speak to anyone through the app without parental permission.

As a matter of fact, your kiddo won't even see any ads while using it because the developers at Facebook pledged Messenger Kids is an "ad-free experience", meaning they won't use their info to try to sell them anything (unlike the adult accounts, which are peppered with ads for things you may have considered buying at one point six months ago).

Messenger Kids is being rolled out for Apple iOS mobile devices in the United States on a test basis as a standalone video chat and messaging app. Parents fully control the contact list and kids can't connect with contacts that their parent does not approve. This will not create a Facebook account for your child or give them access to your Facebook account.

But kids, as kids, are learning at the fastest rates they ever will. Of those parents, 81% said their kids ages 8 to 13 already used social media.

Facebook says the app was created with parents
Facebook says the app was created with parents

Its not just you Facebook messenger is down for many.

The move opens up a new way for Facebook to compete with Snap's disappearing-photo and chat app, which is popular among younger teenagers.

The app may be built for kids to use, but parents are the ones in the driver's seat. To protect minors, Facebook doesn't allow kids under 13 to sign up for a Facebook account.

On Messenger Kids, all accounts are set up by parents.

It has not responded directly to Mr Hunt's tweet, but in a blog post, Facebook's Loren Cheng said the company had spoken to thousands of parents and dozens of experts in child development and online safety. Sean Parker, one of Facebook's early investors and its first president, recently opined on the negative impact of the service he helped create.

Although some parents are impressed with the lengths Facebook went to make the app as safe as possible, others are understandably expressing some concern in the review section of the app's page in the iTunes store. Children can start one-on-one contacts with parent-approved contacts. "Viewed in that light, building a pipeline of 6-year-old users in the name of protecting them from child predators is part of a long tradition". Though, there are a few issues with this initial release, Facebook is taking steps in the right direction with Messenger Kids in that it keeps strangers out. But she said that while Facebook made the app "with the best of intentions", it's not yet known how people will actually use it.

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