On Monday, for the first time ever, Facebook launched an exclusive messaging app specifically for children under age of 13 that is mainly designed to neutralize child abuse, threats, pornography, and age-restricted content that can have adverse effects on kids. Aiming at the market of its primary competitors like Snapchat and other texting apps, “Messenger Kids” will allow the parents to download the app on their child’s phone or tablet, create a new profile for them and monitor their friend list, activity, and content they consume. Parents can also keep an eye on what kids text and whom they video chat with using the main “Messenger App”.
Facebook said that its 100-person team that builds apps for teens and kids consulted with the parent groups, advocates, and childhood-development experts. And it took the nearly 18-months to bring this newer version of “Messenger”. Since facebook’s protocol requires users to be more than the age 13, it was often missused by kids and had a negative effect. To tackle this and provide a better social media platform this app was launched.
How Does It Work?
If two children want to be friends with Messenger Kids, that friendship has to be approved by a parent for each child. Parents will download “Messenger Kids” on their child’s account, after verifying identity by logging into Facebook through their own account. After confirming it to be safe and request approval friends can now do live video chat and send pictures and text to each other. Also, the kids will not be found in a search, parents must initiate and respond to friend requests kids receive.
When we open the Messenger Kids app, a colour-customizable home screen will appear with big tiles that represent the existing chats and approved contacts by the parents along with their last message and the last time they were online. From there, kids can dive instantly into a video chat or text thread with their contacts. No message content is collected for ad targeting (same as Messenger), and there is no in-app purchases to worry about. Kids can block and unblock their parent-approved contacts.
Though this is not officially available in Google India Play Store and IOS App Store, it is estimated to be available in Indian market by end of December or early January!
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