Facebook's Messenger Kids lets under-13s chat with parent-approved contacts

Facebook's Messenger Kids lets under-13s chat with parent-approved contacts

"The recently updated guidelines for children's media use from the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend families to develop a personalized Family Media Use Plan, and Messenger Kids should be part of this plan to restrict time spent on the app and make sure it enhances children's healthy development". A joint Facebook study with the National PTA of more than 1,200 American parents of children under the age of 13 found that three of every five parents said their kids under 13 use messaging apps, social media or both, while 81 percent reported their children started using social media between the ages of 8 and 13.

Messenger Kids was designed after consultation with hundreds of parents and several children's advocates, such as the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the social network said.

While Facebook said in the briefing that the app was designed for kids age 6 to 12, younger kids are allowed on, too.

"Children today are online earlier and earlier", she said in a statement. "Video calls become so much more playful with AR", says Marcus. It is also because of this law that children under 13 years of age can not legally have a fully-featured Facebook account.

It is noted that children will be able to complain about those users who are rude when communicating. Parents will have to register and create their child's profile in the app, and set a list of contacts whom they can chat, video call, or interact.

Davis said that Facebook spoke with the Federal Trade Commission to ensure that the app is compliant with COPPA.

Analysts say that messaging apps give Facebook a chance to tap into a younger generation that they have been losing; earlier this year, the company bought tbh - a popular teen messaging app.

The senators' letter asked Facebook whether its committed to keeping Messenger Kids ad-free and what third-parties, if any, will have access to users' information, among other questions.

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Loren Cheng, product director for Messenger Kids, said Facebook would not use for marketing purposes the details it collected from children.

Messenger Kids takes these steps to put the parent in total control of the children's messenger account.

"While we appreciate Facebook taking steps to protect this vulnerable population by including parental controls, establishing an ad-free environment and restricting some data collection, we remain concerned about where sensitive information collected through this app could end up and for what goal it could be used". It also reserves the right to share information with other firms as necessary - such as customer service providers or companies that can help it analyze how the app is being used.

Others cautioned that the app raised concerns about children's privacy. Once their account is set up by a parent, kids can start a one-on-one or group video chat with parent-approved contacts.

But, he said it remains to be seen whether the app will continue to stay ad-free.

"Why should parents simply trust that Facebook is acting in the best interest of kids?" Thus, instead of signing into Facebook, they can communicate with their family or friends via Messenger Kids.

The app is now only available in the United States on Apple's iOS operating system. "Tech is going to be something kids adopt".

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