Facebook announced on Monday it was trialling Messenger Kids in the U.S., a standalone app aimed at children under 13 to chat with friends and family, controlled from a parent's main Facebook account.
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.
For the first time, Facebook is opening up to children under age 13 with a privacy-focused app created to neutralize child predator threats that plague youth-focused competitors like Snapchat.
Messenger Kids is built for children under 13 years of age, who are too young to use the full fledged Messenger app. Though this new app for now is only available in the US, Facebook says, but has upcoming plans to extend it in the field of iOS and Google Play Store within next few months.
You won't be able to see what your kid is saying or what they're seeing from the management panel, which could be a deal breaker for parents of kids at the lower end of Messenger Kids' age range. This will not create a Facebook account for your child or give them access to your Facebook account.
Most apps say that kids have to be at least 13, but there's nothing to stop younger children from signing up. Parents fully control the contact list and kids can't connect with contacts that their parent does not approve.
Facebook is launching an app for children - and not everyone is happy about it.
"Also, not all parents will have the confidence and knowledge to manage this app safely".
Although some parents are impressed with the lengths Facebook went to make the app as safe as possible, others are understandably expressing some concern in the review section of the app's page in the iTunes store.
"Why should parents simply trust that Facebook is acting in the best interest of kids?"
The Health Secretary said Facebook should instead be focused on enforcing its rule banning children aged under 13 from being members at all. Children can start one-on-one contacts with parent-approved contacts. Messenger Kids comes with a slew of controls for parents.
While some users were not sure whether they were the only ones affected, others hilariously tweeted that Messenger going down means the end is quite near.
That's why it was smart that Facebook tasked Cheng with leading the project.
To join Facebook, users have to be over 13 years old.