"So 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".
Messenger Kids is also an excellent Messenger feature for children that would prevent abuse and ensure a great environment that they can enjoy. Steyer said in a statement.
Relatives and friends with Facebook accounts can try to add children's account to their contacts. "It's just like setting up a play date", Davis said.
While Facebook said in the briefing that the app was designed for kids age 6 to 12, younger kids are allowed on, too. The law requires companies targeting children under 13 to take extra steps to safeguard privacy and security - particularly around advertising, as children may not understand what is and is not an ad. He also said the company would not automatically convert children's accounts to adult accounts when they turned 13. But with technology moving deeper into the home and many firms looking for more growth, children have become a more attractive market.
It is noted that children will be able to complain about those users who are rude when communicating. Instead, parents download the Messenger Kids app to a child's iPhone or iPad (Android coming soon).
Loren Cheng, product director for Messenger Kids, said Facebook would not use for marketing purposes the details it collected from children.
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. Messenger Kids, meanwhile, is a result of seeing what kids like, which is images, emoji and the like. Facebook is careful about the development of the app as it has the potential to be exploitative - it may be used as a gateway for predators and other entities that intend to cause the children harm. Parents will not have to download any additional app, as everything for their kids can be accessed within the main Messenger account of theirs.
The social network says the app has been created to enable children to "safely" video chat and message friends and family, and has been developed in consultation with parents and safety experts. 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.
For the first time, Facebook is opening up to children under age 13 with a privacy-focused app created to neutralize child predator threats that plague youth-focused competitors like Snapchat. Children can report bullying or any unwanted communication in the app.
Though at present, Facebook has no interest in converting the Messenger Kids account into a Facebook account when they turn 13.
Facebook's focus on younger children raised some alarm bells, however. It is free to download and there are no in-app purchases.