Saturday, 20 January, 2018

Facebook Rolling Out Ad-Free Messenger Kids iOS App

Facebook targets 6- to 12-year-old demographic with new Messenger app Facebook previews Messenger Kids, new messaging and video chat for children
Sherri Watson | 04 December, 2017, 18:09

There are no ads in Messenger Kids, which Facebook says is created to be fully compliant with the Children's Online Privacy and Protection Act (COPPA). "Parents control kids accounts and contacts through the Messenger Kids Controls panel in their main Facebook app". A child can't even create an account on his or her own - a parent must do it for them.

Facebook says the Messenger Kids project was developed while working closely with child development experts with consideration for questions like "is there a "right age" to introduce kids to the digital world?" But she said that while Facebook made the app "with the best of intentions", it's not yet known how people will actually use it.

Messenger Kids is a standalone app installed on the child's tablet or smartphone, but controlled from a parent's Facebook account.

Kids can video chat and send photos, videos and text messages to approved adults, who will receive them on their regular Messenger app.

"Messenger Kids is full of features for kids to connect with the people they love". You have a lot of say over who your kids connect with thanks to Messenger Kids so you won't have to worry about online predators or anything similar. This, combined with the fact that parents have to approve each of their children's contacts, should prevent phony accounts from appearing on the platform, a practice that's become a huge problem for Facebook.

Ideally, Facebook envisions kids using its youth-oriented messaging app to video chat with grandparents, stay in touch with cousins and other relatives, chat with mom and dad, and so forth. The app, which launches Monday in the US, gives the company access to a new market whose age prohibits them from using the firm's main social network.

Watch out for Messenger Kids in the app store over the next few days.

Facebook targets 6- to 12-year-old demographic with new Messenger app

There are no adverts or in-app purchases and the social network said the child's information will not be used for advertising purposes. That's the federal law that protects underage children from exploitation online, and it's the reason so many online services require children be 13 years of age or older in order to sign up.

Parents are in charge of setting up an account for their kids in the new messaging app.

When it comes to ads, Facebook said it will also not use data from Messenger Kids for Facebook ads.

Of course, getting preteens onto Messenger has one other major benefit: It offers Facebook a chance to get in front of the youngest generation of internet users before potential competitors.

Authenticate: Then, authenticate your child's device using your own Facebook username and password. With so many privacy concerns and children's online safety issues a paramount discussion, will parents be keen on allowing kids under 13 this sort of access to online social media?

While on the surface Messenger Kids seems relatively innocuous, the underlying motive here can not go unmentioned.

"It's really hard to keep the control over who [kids] communicate with, how they communicate, what tools are at their disposal", said David Marcus, head of Facebook Messenger.