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Facebook launches new "Messenger Kids" app

05 December 2017

The Messenger Kids app is now only available in the U.S. and can be downloaded on iPad, iPod touch, or iPhone from the App Store.

It's important to note that kids under 13 are still not allowed to sign up for a Facebook account.

"When we heard about the need for better apps directly from parents during research and conversations with parents, we knew we needed to develop it alongside with the people who were going to use it, as well as experts who could help guide our thinking", Cheng said in a statement. The way this app works is parents first download it on their kid's devices and authenticate the device using their Facebook credentials. The app was 18 months in development, Svensson said. Once this is done, the kids can start chatting with the contacts that are approved by their parents.

At the same time, parents were willing to let their children aged 6 to 12 use social media as long as there was strict parental control. Facebook's live video streaming feature, for example, has been used for plenty of innocuous and useful things, but also to stream crimes and suicides. This includes Facebook's messaging via browser and the Messenger App.

Stephen Balkam, CEO of the nonprofit Family Online Safety Institute, said "that train has left the station". Parents won't be able to spy on their kids' chats. This is why Facebook and many other social media companies prohibit younger kids from joining.

Davis named some reasons Facebook made a decision to create Messenger Kids and why they chose to create it right now. Facebook promises it won't collect a lot of data about its users and will not allow them to make purchases.

You can head over to messengerkids.com if you want more information about the Messenger Kids app.

Facebook launches new