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07 December 2017, 04:47 | Silvia Roy
Funner than ever
After talking to thousands of parents, associations like National PTA, and parenting experts in the U.S., we found that there's a need for a messaging app that lets kids connect with people they love but also has the level of control parents want.
Facebook now has a messaging app for kids - its first product aimed at young children, putting the social network at the heart of the ongoing debate about how and when children should start their online lives.
The service essentially takes the main Instagram app's messaging features and packs them into a separate experience, which will seamlessly communicate with the main, feed-oriented app. This preview is available on the App Store for iPad, iPod touch and iPhone.
The internet is riddled with threats, scams, child predators, and inappropriate content, which is why Facebook doesn't allow kids to sign up and use its platform.
Basically, this was designed so that parents can protect their children from things that shouldn't be accessed by them in the first place. We've also had thought-provoking conversations around topics of responsible online communication, parental controls and much more with organizations like National PTA and Blue Star Families, where we heard firsthand how parents and caregivers approach raising children in today's digitally connected world.
In return, Facebook obviously can get more users sooner or later. Do you think Messenger Kids is a good idea?
Facebook recently launched a test preview of Messenger Kids, an app that allows parents to set up controlled Messenger accounts for children.
Facebook hired a special team to develop kid-friendly creative tools, from fidget spinner and dinosaur AR masks to crayon-style stickers. "But why should parents simply trust that Facebook is acting in the best interest of kids?" said Jim Steyer, executive director of Common Sense Media, in a statement. Parents fully control the contact list and kids can't connect with contacts that their parent does not approve.
Messenger Kids requires parents to set up an account for their child, where only a name is required, with all contacts added and approved by parents from their main Facebook account. Parents have to use their Facebook email address and password to activate their child's account, but that does not log a parent into their child's device. This will not create a Facebook account for your child or give them access to your Facebook account. Parents can then create a profile for the child as an extension of their own Facebook account.
Because research on the long-term effects of screen time and technology on children is still limited, Facebook also announced a $1 million research fund to work with experts to explore the growing concerns. He also wonders whether the parents of child users will receive ads based on the new service. "We appreciate that for now, the product is ad-free and appears created to put parents in control".
Facebook said that Messenger Kids will have no ads.
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