Facebook's Messenger Kids lets under-13s chat with parent-approved contacts

Bulgaria Facebook Launches a Version of Messenger For Young Children

Bulgaria Facebook Launches a Version of Messenger For Young Children

However, it was also considered a tricky way to get a whole new generation of users to become hooked on the popular app. 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.

Today, in the United States, we're rolling out a preview of Messenger Kids, a new app that makes it easier for kids to safely video chat and message with family and friends when they can't be together in person. Steyer said in a statement.

Relatives and friends with Facebook accounts can try to add children's account to their contacts. This is a law that is created to protect kids from online exploitation. The law requires companies targeting children under 13 to take extra steps to safeguard privacy and security - particularly around advertising, as children may not understand what is and is not an ad. They'll still have to build a traditional Facebook account from scratch when they're ready. But with technology moving deeper into the home and many firms looking for more growth, children have become a more attractive market. Kids can block and unblock their parent-approved contacts.

Facebook's age restriction meant that it was never a place for kids. Google in March introduced "Family Link", which allowed parents to set up kid-friendly Google Accounts.

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". To get there, click on "More" on the bottom right corner in your main Facebook app, and click "Messenger Kids" in the Explore section. Messenger Kids is interoperable with the main Messenger app, so adults don't actually have to download the Kids app. Facebook is careful about the development of the app as it has the potential to be exploitative - it may be used as a gateway for predators and other entities that intend to cause the children harm.

The new app doesn't create an account for kids; parents are asked to provide only their child's name.

Authenticate: Then, authenticate your child's device using your own Facebook username and password.

Facebook says the app complies with U.S. child online privacy laws and contains no adverts. Children can report bullying or any unwanted communication in the app.

It's important to note that kids under 13 are still not allowed to sign up for a Facebook account.

Facebook's focus on younger children raised some alarm bells, however.

But, he said it remains to be seen whether the app will continue to stay ad-free.

"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. The company has no plans to release a similar kids-only platform for its other main social network, Instagram.

The Center for Digital Democracy praised Facebook for creating a "walled garden" approach to the new messenger service.

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