Facebook introduces Messenger Kids app with parental controls

Facebook Chat Messenger Goes Down  Offline

Facebook Messenger Goes Down/Offline Worldwide

"There's really a gap in the market for a messaging app for kids that also gives parents control", Facebook spokeswoman Lauren Svensson said.

Facebook rolled out Monday a version of its popular Messenger app for kids under 13.

Facebook Kids is designed for under-13s who are now not allowed to use the Facebook social network.

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.

Instead, the iOS app lets parents manage their children's account through their own Facebook account, with no need for parents to also download the app on their devices.

Kids will not show up in Facebook search results, so if a kid wants to chat with a friend, the parent will have to work with the friend's parent to get them both approved. Parents won't be able to spy on their kids' chats.

The messages sent by the kids from the Messenger Kids app will be received by the recipients through the regular Messenger app.

"To give kids and parents a fun, safer solution, we built Messenger Kids, a standalone app that lives on kids' tablets or smartphones but can be controlled from a parent's Facebook account". " said Loren Cheng, Product Management Director, Facebook". However, several reports have surfaced showing inappropriate videos streaming through to kids.

"We created Messenger Kids with the belief that parents are ultimately the best judges of their kids' technology use, and the parents we've spoken to have asked for a better way to control the way their children message", Davis wrote. Parents fully control the contact list and kids can't connect with contacts that their parent does not approve.

Messenger Kids is available in the App Store for US iOS users with plans for it to go live on Google Play and the Amazon App Store in the coming months.

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