App Review – Facebook messenger for kids
Threat Level – Low
If you haven’t heard, Facebook has a version of Messenger targeted to kids. This is a stand alone app on IOS and Android. The app is appropriately called Messenger Kids, and is a newer messaging app designed specifically for children between the ages of six and 12. It does not require a Facebook account, which makes sense, considering law says children under the age of 13 can’t have a Facebook account.
At launch, it was just available for IOS but now is on Android as well. The app is geared with kids in mind and you can tell this by the look and feel of app. Facebook described the standalone app as an easier way for children to safely video chat and message with family and friends when they can’t be together.
Kids can use it to video chat with a grandparent or message a cousin or send a decorated photo to a friend. The app is controlled through a parent’s Facebook account, and it does not require the child to have an actual Facebook account since it is a stand alone app they will download to their own device.
The app itself is fun with child appropriate filters and stickers for chat and video calls and they can start a one on one or group video chat with only parent approved contacts. They can also see when their contacts are online, and then they can send them photos, videos, or text messages. Kids can also access a library of child-appropriate GIFS, stickers and masks. Adult friends will receive their messages via the regular Facebook Messenger app so there is not a need to download multiple messengers for parents.
I think this was a great move by Facebook to at least show they are trying to help with safety and children messaging apps on mobile devices. Obviously there are risks to any online messaging but at least they are trying to lock it down as much as they can. Kudos Facebook.
Tags – Facebook, messenger, FB, FB for kids, messenger for kids