Facebook To Launch Dedicated Messenger App for Preteens

Friday, 08 Dec, 2017

"Video calls become so much more playful with AR", says Marcus.

Earlier this week, the watchdog organization Center for Digital Democracy, which helped to pass the Children's Privacy Protection Act, praised Facebook's launch of the new service. The law requires companies targeting children under 13 to take extra steps to safeguard privacy and security - particularly around advertising, as children may not understand what is and is not an ad. Though at present, Facebook has no interest in converting the Messenger Kids account into a Facebook account when they turn 13.

It is noted that children will be able to complain about those users who are rude when communicating.

"I'm an avid social media user, but I don't feel my kids need more social interaction", said Quirion, 39, whose three children are between ages 3 and 9.

"Parents are increasingly allowing their children to use tablets and smartphones, but often have questions and concerns about how their kids use them and which apps are appropriate", said Loren Cheng, product manager for Messenger Kids. Once their account is set up by a parent, kids can start a one-on-one or group video chat with parent-approved contacts.

Davis said that Facebook spoke with the Federal Trade Commission to ensure that the app is compliant with COPPA. According to them, the management behind Facebook can perhaps see where this trend is going, given the many reasons behind the infamy of the app in terms of a variety of scandals going on out there.

There are no ads in Messenger Kids and your child's information isn't used for ads.

If two children want to be friends on Messenger Kids, that friendship has to be approved by a parent for each child.

Facebook said it developed the app after speaking with thousands of parents, major parental groups and child development experts.

"We remain concerned about where sensitive information collected through this app could end up and for what goal it could be used", they wrote. The company said it believes the new app will provide a "fun, safer solution" for children to communicate with family and friends.

Facebook's focus on younger children raised some alarm bells, however. It is free to download and there are no in-app purchases.

"The idea of a children's messaging application with built-in parental controls is a response to today's reality of families living in a digitally connected world where children are surrounded by devices, have access to them, and even own a device like a tablet or smartphone". We can push the boundaries to create the fastest and most creative space for private sharing when Direct is a camera-first, standalone app. The app aims to create an experience like Facebook Messenger for kids, ideally in an environment that is strictly used for communication. It now seems the company may have similar plans for Instagram.

For Facebook, Messenger Kids exists as a kind of loophole to its own protocols - giving kids a taste for the service without actually signing them up.

Messenger Kids is full of features for kids to connect with the people they love. Still, a reporting interface written specifically for kids lets them flag anything sketchy to a dedicated support team working 24/7.