Facebook previews Messenger Kids, a new messaging app with parental controlDecember 5, 2017, 9:00 am GMT
Facebook is rolling out in the US a preview of Messenger Kids, a new app designed for kids to safely video chat and message with family and friends when they can't be together in person. The standalone app on kids' tablets or smartphones can be fully controlled from a parent's Facebook account via a Messenger Kids Controls panel.
Every child account on Messenger Kids must be set up by a parent. Once an account is set up by a parent, a kid can start a one-on-one or group video chat with parent-approved contacts. As a result, kids can't connect with contacts that their parent do not approve.
The home screen shows them at a glance who they are approved to talk to, and when those contacts are online. In addition to video chat, kids can send photos, videos or text messages to their parent-approved friends and adult relatives, who will receive the messages via their regular Messenger app. A library of kid-appropriate and specially chosen GIFs, frames, stickers, masks and drawing tools lets them decorate content and express their personalities.
According to Facebook, the company identified the need for the messaging app after talking to parents, associations like National PTA, and parenting experts in the US. The company has announced that there are no ads and in-app purchases in Messenger Kids, and that children's information isn't used for ads. Messenger Kids is also designed to be compliant with the Children's Online Privacy and Protection Act (COPPA).
This preview of Messenger Kids is only available in the US at this time on the Apple App Store, and will be coming to Amazon App Store and Google Play Store in the coming months.
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