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Facebook Launches Messenger for Kids
06 December 2017, 12:44 | Yvette Williams
Introducing Messenger Kids, a New App For Families to Connect | Facebook Newsroom
The app, called Messenger Kids, is Facebook's first explicit attempt at reaching users below the age of 13, which is the minimum age for creating a normal Facebook account.
Facebook's new messaging app allows children to share pictures, texts and videos, but will allow parents some control over what messages are sent.
The NSPCC said the app was "a step in the right direction" because it discourages kids from lying about their age to get an account on Facebook, which has a minimum age of 13.
Facebook said that the new app, with no ads or in-app purchases, is aimed at 6- to 12-year-olds.
Hundreds of users were left clueless when they found their favourite social network messenger/chatting service, Facebook messenger down due to a worldwide outage.
Facebook now restricts people below 13 years of age from signing up to its platform, but many younger children simply lie about their age to circumvent the controls. Instead, the app operates as an extension of the parent's account.
We've worked extensively with parents and families to shape Messenger Kids and we're looking forward to learning and listening as more children and families start to use the iOS preview.
Federal law prohibits internet companies from collecting personal information on kids under 13 without their parents' permission and imposes restrictions on advertising to them. Marcus tells me he's excited about getting his 8-year-old into the family chat alongside his 14- and 17-year-old children.
Messenger Kids offers a new channel to introduce young users to FB's brand through a messenger product, rather than its flagship profile and News Feed. This will not create a Facebook account for your child or give them access to your Facebook account.
Every child account on Messenger Kids must be set up by a parent. The app features GIFs, frames, stickers, masks and drawing tools that are "kid-appropriate and specially chosen". "People said that it would be ideal for Facebook to clarify their policies from the beginning so that it would be perfectly clear what parents are signing up for". It would be reckless to invite kids onto a chat app otherwise.
The launch could be a sign that Facebook is growing up. "They want a level of control over their kids' digital world that is similar to the level they have in the real world". So did his lieutenants Chris Cox, CPO, and Andrew Bosworth, head of hardware. "Now 33, "[Zuckerberg] has been thinking a lot about the future he wants to leave behind for his kids". The prevailing mood is that since kids are using social networks, you might as do what you can to make sure that use is safe and monitored.
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