Today, many households don’t even have a landline.
Facebook’s rules require that children be at least 13 to create an account, but many are believed to get around the restrictions. Contacts whitelist Child users of Messenger Kids can not communicate with others until each individual has been added to the contacts list.
So what are the main features of the Messenger Kids app, you ask?
“The parent really is helping to establish that social community”, said Antigone Davis, Facebook’s head of global security and families.
As it stands, there are already countless numbers of children already using the full-fledged Messenger app via a proper Facebook account. This followed the launch of the Family Link app that allows parents to control their kids’ devices remotely. This helps to address some of the concerns around young children using smartphone apps.
“There are no ads in Messenger Kids and your child’s information isn’t used for ads”, Cheng wrote. The company has no plans to release a similar kids-only platform for its other main social network, Instagram.
The social media giant is launching a messaging app for children to chat with their parents and with friends approved by their parents. In order to befriend another child in Messenger Kids, a parent must also be friends with that child’s parent on Facebook. “They’re sending their child off. That they know that the conversations are appropriate”, she said.
As part of the research Facebook conducted for this project, it held roundtables all over the country with organizations such as the national PTA and Blue Star Families.
Parents won’t need to download a separate app. “It’s just like setting up a play date”, Davis said. We want to create technologies that benefit, rather than harm or are merely neutral on, the lives of children. Video chat is also featured.
Facebook also said that it will block children from sharing nudity, sexual or violent content, and have a dedicated moderation team to respond to flagged content.
She said research showed that about 93pc of kids aged between six and 12 in the USA regularly access smartphones and tablets, and three out of every five parents surveyed said their children under 13 use messaging apps, social media or both. Even if their child reports a piece of content, parents are notified but not shown whatever it was their kid reported. It wants kids on board as early as possible, and it knows that parents are eager to keep in touch with their kids through a safe environment that they can control.
Messenger Kids, meanwhile, “is a result of seeing what kids like”, which is images, emoji and the like. Contacts are added through an “Explore” section of the app that should let parents search and find other contacts.
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. It’s also compliant with the Children’s Online Privacy and Protection Act (COPPA).