Christian charity concerned by Facebook's new app for kids

Wednesday, 06 Dec, 2017

Facebook on Monday unveiled a version of its Messenger application for children, aimed at enabling kids under 12 to connect with others under parental supervision.

Kids will be able to send photos, videos or other messages to relatives or other contacts accessible through the primary Messenger app, and vice versa.

The idea is to make sure that parents have full control over the online experience of their children, and Messenger Kids is one such app created to open lines of communication along the way.

Facebook announced a new messaging service yesterday for children as young as six.

"We need to prepare our children for the day when we're not there and we do that gradually giving them more and more responsibility as they get older and we do it by talking about them and by spending time with them - putting those boundaries in place".

Common Sense Media, a United States non-profit "dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families", has looked extensively at the proliferation of social media use among young children. Children can start one-on-one contacts with parent-approved contacts.

Facebook will share that information with third parties, which must have data protection policies that comply with Coppa, the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act in the US.

Social media just got a little more kid friendly!

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. In contrast, Facebook Messenger Kids "makes parents the gatekeepers" and was designed "with the best of intentions", according to Lavallee. It doesn't create an account for my too-young children. The home screen shows them at a glance who they are approved to talk to, and when those contacts are online. " said Loren Cheng, Product Management Director, Facebook". The way this app works is parents first download it on their kid's devices and authenticate the device using their Facebook credentials. He's used to thinking about worst-case scenarios. Instead, it's built specifically for kids, ages 6 to 13, with Facebook pitching the app as a way to message friends and family walled off from predators and inappropriate content.

"When I was in my mid-twenties, you never think you're going to be gone, ever", Marcus admits. Today his company is laying the foundation for an ageless social network.