The world over, people have been welcoming the technological innovations and changes with an open heart. One of the reasons being the birth of social media that have enabled the establishment of a better communication network. Facebook is one such social media platform that has transformed the face of communication and networking. Facebook was launched on Feb. 4, 2004, by Mark Zuckerberg, the present CEO of the company, as a platform for students within the Harvard University to interact with each other. Soon, the website expanded its horizons and is now available as one of the world’s leading social networking sites, allowing users to connect via internet.
Being a large and expansive social networking site with over 1 million users, the platform is prone to misuse risks. Therefore, in 2006, the company took a preventive measure to minimize its risk by limiting its access to people below 13 years of age. However, the Facebook recently took an innovative step and launched an innovative networking platform for kids in the age group of six to 12 years. The innovation has hit the market after its upgraded AI that was launched to curb the suicide rate in the country.
What is facebook messenger for kids
Known as “Messenger Kids,” the Facebook messenger for kids is a standalone app which is installed on the kid’s tablet or smartphone but is controlled from a parent’s Facebook account. This is because Facebook prohibits children below 13 years of age to create an account. Managed and controlled completely by parents, the Facebook for kids under 12 needs parental approval before kids are allowed its access. Currently available on iOS devices in the U.S. only, the Facebook for kids is an opportunity for kids to connect and exchange text and video chat with other kids using the app.
Features of Messenger Kids
The app that has been developed after numerous discussions with parents, major parental groups and child development experts, allows parents to have more control over their kids. This is because parents are the ones who control and monitor their kids’ online interaction. There are a number of other reasons that make this new Facebook messenger unique and beneficial:
- Using the Messenger app does not give permission to kids to access the full version of the Facebook.
- The icon of Messenger Kids app is different from the regular Facebook Messenger icon.
- It doesn’t feature any sort of ads. This implies that the information shared via the app is not shared by Facebook with any of their ad partners.
- The app does not have any in-app purchases.
- The app is developed in sync with the Children’s Online Privacy and Protection app guidelines.
- Even though it is not possible for parents to watch their kids’ conversations, they can definitely delete their kids’ friends.
- The app has a special proactive detection safety filter that prevents children from sharing objectionable content like nudity, sexual content or violence.
- It has a kid-friendly version of the GIF-sharing engine that makes the app, even more, fun to be used by kids.
Understanding the working of the app
For children below 13 years of age, it is their parents who have the power to allow them to chat with their friend available online or not. To enable this, parents are responsible to download the app to their child’s iOS device, maybe an iPhone or iPad and then, authenticate it with their own account. Once the authentication process is complete, parents set a mini-profile for their kid using his/her name and photo.
When the app is ready to be used by the kid, parents use a bookmark in their main Facebook app and then, can add anyone as a contact for their kid from their own friends’ list. The best part of this app is that it is interoperable with the main Messenger app. Using this app does not make the kids searchable through Facebook search. So in case, there is a classmate with whom he/she wants to chat, then their parent must first be a Facebook friend of the classmate’s parent. Once done, they can then see the options to approve the adult’s child as a friend of his/her own child.
Messenger Kids is undoubtedly a smart app to keep parents informed about their kids’ activities and behavior. But it is important for parents to stay extra cautious as the new Facebook messenger kids might put their child’s mental health at risk. The app is also a smart development by Facebook as it will help the company garner relevant data of its future audience and users. Truly, the Facebook is an example of an eternal social network for young people, kids and adults.