Facebook launches messaging app for children as young as 6

Screen Shot

Facebook is promoting the new app for children that will help them to safely communicate with parents and friends.

Facebook announced Messenger Kids today, insisting it was a response to the reality of who some of its users are.

Messenger Kids is full of features for kids to connect with the people they love.

Once an account has been set up by a parent, children can start a one-on-one or group video chat with parent-approved contacts through a home screen.

Federal law prohibits Internet companies from collecting personal information on kids who are below 13 without their parents' permission; as well the feature imposes restrictions on advertising to them.

Playful masks, emojis and sound effects bring conversations to life.


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. So time will tell if Messenger Kids is the hit they're looking for to grab the next generation of F-book lovers.

On Messenger Kids, all accounts are set up by parents. When children turn 13, they won't instantly have their Messenger Kids profiles turned into real Facebook profiles, nor will they get kicked off Messenger Kids.

Create an account: Finish the setup process by creating an account for your child, where all you'll need to do is provide their name. Granted, this isn't a major dealbreaker for diligent parents, but we have to acknowledge that "catfishing" is a thing and it only takes one bogus friend request to slip through to compromise a child's safety.

Whilst kids can use the social media apps and the messaging apps which are designed for the adults and teenagers, those services aren't built for them, stated Kristelle Lavallee, a children's psychology expert, she suggested the Facebook on designing the service.

"We want to help ensure the experiences our kids have when using technology are positive, safer, and age-appropriate, and we believe teaching kids how to use technology in positive ways will bring better experiences later as they grow", the company said. The company also says Messenger Kids won't show ads or collect data for marketing. No additional app download is needed for parents to control settings, either; that's done through the Facebook app on their smartphone. Messenger Kids is also created to be compliant with the Children's Online Privacy and Protection Act (COPPA).

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