13 & under: Facebook launches Messenger for Kids

05 Diciembre, 2017, 01:37 | Author: Cirilo Salinas
  • Facebook now has a messaging app just for kids

Kids profile will not be available on Facebook search to protect their privacy.

"Many of us at Facebook are parents, and naturally we're thinking about technology's role in the lives of children and families", Antigone Davis, Facebook's Public Policy Director and Global Head of Safety, wrote in an article in Facebook's Newsroom addressing the new Messenger app. The service won't show ads or collect data for marketing, the company said.

Facebook said it had "thought-provoking conversations" around parent controls and responsible online communication with organizations such as National PTA and Blue Star Families in shaping the app. Every child account on Messenger Kids must be set up by a parent. It's completely independent of the flagship Facebook and Messenger apps, and is compliant with the Children's Online Privacy and Protection Act.

This experience is tailored to devices that are given to kids, not the smartphones or tablets that parents use, which may already have a Messenger app installed.

Facebook has launched a stand-alone mobile app that allows minors to communicate with their parents and parent-approved friends. Messenger Kids might be Facebook's way of reversing that trend by capturing users even earlier. Facebook also cites an external study from Dubit, which found 93 percent of 6-12 year olds in the USA have access to tablets or smartphones, with many of them owning a device of their own. The app is launching for iPhone immediately, but will eventually come to Android and Amazon Fire devices. First, it keeps children away from Facebook proper, and second, it gives parents complete control over their child's Messenger Kids accounts.

Messenger Kids parental controls
Messenger Kids parental

Messenger Kids, which is rolling out in the United States in the Apple app store, is a standalone product.

Balkam, a member of Facebook's advisory committee, said Facebook has been grappling with its under-aged users for a long time.

Here's a step-by-step from Facebook on how to make that happen. The control panel for Messenger Kids is located in the main Facebook app.

Kristelle Lavallee, a children's psychology expert who advised Facebook on designing the service, called it a "useful tool" but also noted, "The risk of exposure to things they were not developmentally prepared for is huge". It also includes a GIFs section for choosing images to send to friends, but content in the section is regulated by Facebook. Peggy's parents will then have to approve your contact request in order to ass your child to Peggy's contact list as well.

"I think it's very important that parents know who their kids are talking to". It will require them to download the app and create a Messenger Kids account while using their Facebook account for authentication.

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