Published: Tue, December 05, 2017
IT | By Lester Massey

Facebook launches new Messenger app for kids

Facebook launches new Messenger app for kids

Facebook rolled out Messenger Kids, an app that lets the world's biggest social media company expand into a so-far untapped market of kids under 13 while also giving parents complete control over what their children see. The rules for traditional Facebook services will not change. The way this app works is parents first download it on their kid's devices and authenticate the device using their Facebook credentials.

"By designing an ad-free and safe environment for children, Facebook is playing a leadership role in developing responsible corporate practices that could be the basis for industry-wide guidelines", said Kathryn C. Montgomery, a professor at American University's School of Communication and a senior consultant at the Center for Digital Democracy.

Facebook Kids is available in the USA now, initially for iOS devices only.

The Messenger Kids app can be controlled by a parent from their Facebook account and it has been co-developed by Facebook with parents, experts as well as kids.

"So when we heard about the need for better apps directly from parents during research and conversations with parents, we knew we needed to develop it alongside the people who were going to use it, as well as experts who could help guide our thinking".

Kids said they want to use the platforms to have fun and connect with family.

Facebook added special proactive detection safety filters to prevent children from sharing sexual content, nudity or violence. Parents won't be able to spy on their kids' chats. Kids can also play around with augmented reality masks and stickers, including fidget spinners and dinosaur AR masks. Facebook promises it won't collect a lot of data about its users and will not allow them to make purchases.

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