Facebook previews Messenger Kids, new messaging and video chat for children

Facebook's new chat app for kids makes parents approve conversations

Right now, you can only do that in a feature-crippled Messenger Kids app available as a preview on U.S. iPads, iPhones and iPod Touches, but a Google Play and Amazon App Store expansion will definitely happen "in the coming months", and the general concept might be something worth exploring for the larger Facebook platform as well.

Once a parent adds someone to their child's contact list through the main Facebook app, kids can video chat as well as send photos, videos, and texts, or pick something from "a library of kid-appropriate and specially chosen GIFs, frames, stickers, masks, and drawing tools", according to Facebook's announcement post.

Messenger Kids, which is rolling out in the United States in the Apple app store, is a standalone product. Instead, parents need to log into their own Facebook accounts after downloading the mobile app to configure their kids' messaging experience.

It's worth noting here that Facebook itself remains closed to those under 13 years of age.

Today Facebook unveiled Messenger Kids, a new kids-only version of Messenger for children under 13 who aren't old enough to have a Facebook account of their own but still want to chat with friends and family on the social network.




Facebook has taken a few more steps to ensure that Messenger Kids is not plagued with any loopholes.

This follows a trend we've seen elsewhere in the technology realm, with companies looking for ways to hook children into their respective ecosystems as early as possible. The app, Messenger Kids, is a messaging service that gives parents authority over who their kids can chat with.

Facebook rolled out a new app targeting kids under thirteen Monday.

When it comes to ads, Facebook said it will also not use data from Messenger Kids for Facebook ads. That's a departure from Facebook's approach in the past, as when it required users to download the separate Messenger app in 2014 in order to send direct messages on Facebook. This will not create a Facebook account for your child or give them access to your Facebook account.

There are no adverts or in-app purchases and the social network said the child's information will not be used for advertising purposes. In order to befriend another child in Messenger Kids, a parent must also be friends with that child's parent on Facebook. When detected (or if, given Facebook's shoddy moderating history), such content will be scrubbed from the app. The app is launching for iPhone immediately, but will eventually come to Android and Amazon Fire devices. The goal with "Sesame Street", which aired its first episode in 1969, was to educate children by taking advantage of their infatuation with the "powerful medium" of television.

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