Facebook launches messaging app for under 13s

Alicia Farmer
December 6, 2017

Indeed, the app can only be downloaded through a parent's Facebook account and it is created to give parents a great deal of control over how children use it. Parents completely control the contact list so children cannot add anyone not approved by them.

The new program will also give Facebook the chance to enter into a consumer age range now occupied by a small number of apps such as Snapchat. But parents are unsure if it is safe for children in Nepal. Facebook asserts that the Facebook Messenger will have a controlled environment.

Messenger Kids, meanwhile, 'is a result of seeing what kids like, ' which is images, emoji and the like. An age barrier doesn't stop them using Facebook and if they're not on Facebook they're on Snapchat or a host of other social media sites. "This works", they said", Facebook product management director Loren Cheng tells me. It's a hard decision as to when your children are old enough to be given a certain amount of Internet freedom and many parents are likely to prefer to do this in a controlled manner compared to the alternative of free rein on the adult Internet. In some ways it's akin to teaching a child how to use the household telephone landline in the past - it's a skill that you don't want them to run riot with but as a part of growing up it's an essential life lesson to learn. The problem with this logic is it simply accepts that kids will spend hours buried in these apps.

Currently, Facebook and its attendant Messenger app are only open to registrations from people aged 13 and over.

Retailers are also adopting Facebook Messenger as a form of communication, not just to sell but for things like shipping notifications.

There has been criticism that the app was created to draw children in and groom them to eventually become regular Facebook users.

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Facebook has launched a messaging app for kids, a move which will see the social media giant expand their user base to a whole previously under-age sector.

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"We created Messenger Kids with the belief that parents are ultimately the best judges of their kids' technology use, and the parents we've spoken to have asked for a better way to control the way their children message", Davis wrote.

Every child account on Messenger Kids must be set up by a parent.

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

Yahoo News reported that Facebook's new messenger app "will not show kids any advertisements or offer in-app purchases".

Lavallee, who is content strategist at the Center on Media and Child Health at Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard University, called Messenger Kids a "useful tool" that 'makes parents the gatekeepers'. Facebook promotes the app as a way "for kids to safety video chat and message with family and friends".

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