Friday, 15 December, 2017

Facebook's Newest App Is a Chat Service for Kids

Facebook targets 6- to 12-year-old demographic with new Messenger app Why Facebook launched a Messenger app for kids
Garry Little | 05 December, 2017, 01:56

"Right now for kids, the time they spend on devices is very passive", David Marcus, vice president for messaging products at Facebook, told the New York Times. The app is created to be compliant with the Children's Online Privacy and Protection Act (COPPA). Facebook plans to release Android and Amazon versions next year.

Kids under 13 can't be on Facebook or Messenger under the company's rules - but many already are.

The social network giant said children between the ages of 6 and 11 are most likely to gravitate toward the standalone app, raising concerns about its safety in the hands of such youngsters.

After downloading Messenger Kids from Apple's App Store, all a Facebook-using adult needs to do is log into their own account, create a sub-account for their child, and add people to an approved contact list. Plus, it's FUN for kids to use! Millions of parents are part of Messenger community and they asked us for controllable solutions that let them message with their children.

Balkam said that he is happy to see Facebook introducing safeguards to protect its youngest users, but added that the new app does not take away all responsibility from parents.

Messenger Kids is designed for kids and helps them in connecting with family and close friends.

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. There are no advertisements or in-app purchases in the app, and Facebook says it can detect certain types of abusive content and prevent it from appearing in Messenger Kids.

Dr. Lewis Bernstein, former executive vice president of Education, Research and Outreach for the Sesame Workshop, compares the development of Messenger Kids over the last 18 months to those early years of developing "Sesame Street", the long-running, iconic show that now airs on HBO and re-airs on PBS.

The application is available for preview in the United States and will roll out to iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch initially.

Authenticate: Then, authenticate your child's device using your own Facebook username and password.

The video chat places a big emphasis on interactive face filters that use frames, masks, stickers and emojis, as well as various sound effects.

Parents are in full control of who their child interacts with on Messenger Kids. And it only works if the parents of the kids who want to talk via Messenger Kids are friends on Facebook themselves. The company, in its post, said the kids can have access to social media with parental control. With Messenger Kids, she said, Facebook has thought through what's appropriate for kids. But it's also a potentially smart move for Facebook, one that could get kids comfortable with the platform by the time they're old enough for a regular account.

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