Facebook made a Messenger app that's just for kids

Vladimir Smirnov  Getty Images

The company announced a new app on Monday for children as young as six years old.

This experience is tailored to devices that are given to kids, not the smartphones or tablets that parents use, which may already have a Messenger app installed. Parents will only be able to see Messenger Kids accounts connected to their own Facebook friends.

If your kid loves playing around with Snapchat face filters, they're probably going to be stoked about Messenger Kids. But parents dictate who their kids can and can't talk to.

Unlike the regular Messenger app, the Kids version doesn't require the user - the child in this case - to have a Facebook account or phone number. Facebook is launching the app today in preview with a limited rollout on iOS.

Messenger Kids, which is available for now only on Apple products, allows children to video chat with individuals or with a groups of people. Facebook says Messenger Kids is also created to be compliant with the Children's Online Privacy and Protection Act, or COPPA.

Add contacts: To add people to your child's approved contact list, go to the Messenger Kids parental controls panel in your main Facebook app.

Messenger Kids is launching in preview today for iPhone and iPad users in the USA and will be targeting 6 to 13-year-olds with a child-friendly alternative to the main Messenger app. Parents have to use their own Facebook credentials to authenticate a device for use with the new Messenger Kids app, and parents have full and final say over who the kid is able to connect with through Messenger. But, per the app's privacy policy, Facebook reserves the right to share information with third parties, which must in turn prove to Facebook that they have strong privacy policies to protect children. It's created to be compliant with the Children's Online Privacy and Protection Act (COPPA).

Chris Pratt, Anna Faris files for divorce
News that everything between Chris and Anna is "super amicable" and that they're "trying to do what's best for Jack ". The publication adds that they have a prenuptial agreement and are nearly ready to finalize a property settlement.

Flu Is Spreading Fast This Season
Anyone can get the flu, regardless of age, race, gender, or ethnicity, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health. And for those anxious about allergies from eggs used in the production process, two more vaccines are egg-free.

Strong quake of magnitude 6.0 strikes Southeastern Iran
Aftershocks in the wake of the Friday morning's 6-magnitude natural disaster have raised concerns in the region. USGS geophysicist John Bellini told the Associated Press that any damage would be minimal.

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. Facebook said it plans to launch the app in the Amazon App Store and Google Play "in the coming months".

It is now only available on iOS in the USA, but will be rolled out to Google Play Store and Amazon App Store in the next few months. It also met with parents across the U.S.to hear the major concerns about their kids using technology.

"We want to help ensure the experiences our kids have when using technology are positive, safer, and age- appropriate, and we believe teaching kids how to use technology in positive ways will bring better experiences later as they grow", the company said.

Messenger Kids may be completely separate from Facebook's other apps, but a lot of the parental management happens through Facebook.

How - and if - the app ends up getting used remains to be seen.

Children can block and report anything that makes them feel uncomfortable, which will immediately notify parents.

Related News:



Most liked

Travel could be 'impossible' Monday, NWS warns
Friday will be mostly cloudy, with a high in the upper 30s and a Friday-night low in the mid 20s, the weather service said. Beginning Tuesday temperatures are expected to drop into the 30-degree range and remain there for the rest of the week.

Cyclone Ockhi: Coast Guard rescues 183 fishermen
NCP's Lakshadweep MP Mohammad Faizal said the Islands have suffered a loss of over Rs 500 crore. Hundreds of fishermen are still missing. "Till yesterday, 164 fishermen were rescued".

US, South Korea begin biggest-ever combined air force exercise
North Korea's comments mirror a statement KCNA made last month, saying Washington is seeking to ignite a nuclear war after U.S. The exercise, held over five days, is created to improve the South's military preparedness.

Veteran Bollywood actor Shashi Kapoor dies at 79
We wish Shashi Kapoor's soul may rest in peace! Also, he was awarded in the year 2015 for the 2014 Dadasaheb Phalke Award. Shashi Kapoor , who married an English actress Jennifer Kendel, is survived by his son's Karan, Kunal & Sanjana Kapoor .

Ohio State University scheduled to play against USC in Cotton Bowl
Ohio State (10-2) last played at AT&T Stadium on January 12, 2015, when it beat OR to win the national championship. The Ohio State University will play against the University of Southern California in the Cotton Bowl.

'Travel safe Mum' - Elton John 'in shock' over his mother's death
The milestone birthday prompted Sir Elton to get back in touch, and the pair continued to work on their relationship. He also wished her a "Happy mother's Day" in 2017, tweeting , "So happy we are back in touch".

Hit-and-Run Driver Plows into 4 Pedestrians in Queens, Killing 1
The person who died was pronounced dead at the scene while five injured were transported to an area hospital, according to police. Police are searching for a driver who struck at least four people in New York City , killing one and injuring three.

Facebook opens new office in London
Tech company, Facebook recently announced its decision to set up a new London office. Facebook received a warm welcome from the United Kingdom tech community.

Ben Stokes struggles on Canterbury debut
The all-rounder's prospects of joining England mid-series in this winter's Ashes may hinge on that decision. Stokes, who broke a finger in the incident, was released under investigation.

Cheapest Jio Prepaid Plans With 1GB Data Per Day, Unlimited Calling
In addition to the new unlimited pack, Airtel has reportedly launched a pack of Rs. 157 that offers 3GB of 3G/4G data for 27 days. The pack comes loaded with some interesting offers and the brand has also revised the validity of Rs 509 plan as well.

IPhone and iPad users hit with bug
The new iOS 11 .2 comes with a range of big fixes and it also comes with quiet a few security improvements over iOS 10. Apple recommended for users to manually change the date on their devices to an earlier date as a temporary workaround.

Rob Gronkowski: Refs are calling 'craziest stuff' on me
McDermott appears to confront Belichick about the hit and Belichick responds by saying "I understand, it was bullshit, i'm sorry". During that moment, Belichick apologized to McDermott. "Obviously, we hope Tre is alright and that's all I can say about it".

Samsung Galaxy S9 could arrive in a brand new colour option
Samsung skipped the tech show for the Galaxy S8 this year, unveiling the smartphone a few weeks later. Hence, a new patent from Samsung suggests that Palm Scanning will soon be helping you in that case.

S. Korea says allies' ongoing air drill is defensive in nature
Seoul's Unification Ministry rebuked the criticism, saying that the drills are defense exercises conducted annually. Washington and Seoul on Monday kicked off the largest air combat exercise ever held on the Korean peninsula.

The SMS text message turns 25 and we're still using it!
That honor (or blame) falls on Matti Makkonen, who initially suggested the idea back in 1984 at a telecommunications conference. A lot of them also use a new set of sub-languages based on abbreviations and keyboard-based icons have evolved.