Technology is used by all ages, including kids. A market researcher Dubit found that 93 percent of 6- to 12-year-olds have access to tablets or smartphones, and 66 percent of them own smartphones or tablets of their own. Facebook’s new app seems to recognize that. The social media giant Facebook launches a dedicated instant messaging application for kids ages of 6 to 12. Named Messenger Kids, this app is specifically designed with features that are appropriate for children of that age.
“Many of us at Facebook are parents ourselves, and it seems we weren’t alone when we realized that our kids were getting online earlier and earlier,” a Facebook statement said.
Just like the regular Messenger app, users can chat messages, post photos, GIFs, videos, and camera filters that are of course children-themed. Interestingly, Facebook provides a parental control feature that connects to a parent’s Facebook account where only approved friends can communicate with each other. They can also get to know the content of their children’s conversations as well as the list of contacts inside the app.
In other words, no stranger is trying to approach a child with a dangerous motive. Child activities can be monitored by parents, for example when they are online then parents will get a notification.
Interestingly, Messenger Kids app does not require a Facebook account at all, considering children under 13 in the United States can not legally sign up for Facebook. So, children’s users can wear it directly, but it should be with parental guidance. This app could be an alternative communication for children. Facebook insists that they are not taking advantage of this, all purely for communication needs.
“Messenger Kids is an ad-free experience. The app is also free, and there are no in-app purchases.” Facebook in its official statement.
With Child Protection Agency
Quoted from the Newsroom Facebook page, in its development, Facebook has partnered with a child protection agency in the United States that is the Children’s Online Privacy and Protection Act (COPPA) to ensure there is no gap of exploitation in cyberspace. Facebook wants to help parents who have given access to gadgets to their children in maintaining digital communications are done to stay safe alias in supervision. New apps are currently available for iOS, but certainly also released for Android in the future.
The main features provided are not much different from the Facebook Messenger that we know so far. Chat mode with image upload feature, GIF sticker and picture shadow are the main parts. With Messenger Kids, Facebook is getting a head start on hooking the teens of tomorrow.
Interested in trying Messenger Kids? Unfortunately this feature is only available in the Beta release on the US Regional App Store. There is no official schedule information provided to release Messenger Kids in Indonesia or other countries.Additional features provided are video calling in group or personal form as well as Live Masks, Emoji and also sound effects.