Why Facebook launched a Messenger app for kids

Why Facebook launched a Messenger app for kids

Why Facebook launched a Messenger app for kids

Users can talk or text with family and close friends allowing parents to control the app through their Facebook account.

Teens might be migrating to new social media platforms these days, but Facebook thinks it can reach an even younger demographic-kids as young as six-with a new app called Messenger Kids. Dubbed as Messenger Kids, the app enables preteens to safely communicate with their parents and friends, claims the company.

On Monday, the tech firm said it is rolling out a kid version of its messaging app, which already has more than 1 billion users worldwide. Parents are then notified through messenger and Facebook will remove content or kids who repeatedly violate the company's Community Standards.

Facebook said that the app was designed in conjunction with parents and safety organizations and is compliant with the Children's Online Privacy and Protection Act (COPPA). Whether it's using video chat to talk to grandparents, staying in touch with cousins who live far away, or sending mom a decorated photo while she's working late to say hi, Messenger Kids opens up a new world of online communication to families.

At the same time, Facebook is promising not to sell ads into the Messenger Kids stream nor to automatically move the kids onto Facebook when they are eligible.

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"There's really a gap in the market for a messaging app for kids that also gives parents control", Facebook spokeswoman Lauren Svensson said.

Messenger Kids is full of engaging and interactive features for kids to connect with the people they love. The child does not have a Facebook account, which is prohibited for those under 13; instead the app operates as an extension of the parent's account. But first, kids must get a parental approval. "A website operator must include in a privacy policy, when and how to seek verifiable consent form a parent and what responsibilities an operator has to protect children's privacy and safety online".

There are no adverts or in-app purchases and the social network said the child's information will not be used for advertising purposes.

The app is only available in the USA for iOS platform. Once this is done, the kids are ready to use the app. Facebook plans to release Android and Amazon versions next year.

Sensing it could face criticism for developing a product that would help convert kids to regular Facebook users after they turn thirteen, Facebook cleverly prepared a defense in advance, notes The Verge. The social network also is looking at building controls around how much time a child can spend on the app. Kids also are not allowed to delete conversations so adults can monitor their children's devices.

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