Facebook debuts 'Messenger Kids' with parental supervision tools
05 December, 2017, 17:15
It's called "Messenger Kids" and it will allow children between the ages of 6 and 12 who are too young to get a Facebook account-to chat with friends.
Davis named some reasons Facebook made a decision to create Messenger Kids and why they chose to create it right now.
Facebook said it consulted with 1,200 parents plus online security and child development specialists, including the National Parent-Teacher Association, the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, Connect Safely, Center on Media and Child Health, and Sesame Workshop.
"Messenger Kids gives parents more control".
In a collaboration with the National Parent Teacher Association on a study with more than 1,200 American parents of children under the age of 13, Facebook found three out of every five parents surveyed 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.
There already are a handful of other apps that children can use with parental consent, and kids can communicate with each other using texting on cellphones.
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"My concern is safety, getting friend requests from people you don't know, chatting with people you don't know, giving out information to strangers", one parent participant in the National PTA roundtable said.
If two children want to be friends on Messenger Kids, that friendship has to be approved by a parent for each child. Face filters and playful masks can be distracting for adults, Lavallee said, but for kids who are just learning how to form relationships and stay in touch with parents digitally, they are ways to express themselves.
After that, parents have to provide their kid's name.
The app is completely controlled by the parents. Facebook promises it won't collect a lot of data about its users and will not allow them to make purchases.
"Why should parents simply trust that Facebook is acting in the best interest of kids?"
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