Facebook Announced the Messenger Kids App for children under age 13

NATION-NOW     Facebook wants kids under 13 to try new Messenger app     
       Facebook wants kids under 13 to try new Messenger app

NATION-NOW Facebook wants kids under 13 to try new Messenger app Facebook wants kids under 13 to try new Messenger app

Another thought: Twitter will need to up its game and launch "Tot Tweets" before they get left behind.

Facebook has introduced a dedicated messaging space, dubbed Messenger Kids it has been designed to create a safe environment. So if a child wants to be able to chat with one of their classmates, their parent must first friend that kid's parent, and then will see the option to approve that adult's child as a contact for their own kid.

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 the people who were going to use it, as well as experts who could help guide our thinking. The service won't let children add their own friends or delete messages -only parents can do that.

Facebook also said the app was in line with child online safety and privacy laws in the US. And US Facebook users aged 45-54 account for 21% of total time spent on the platform, more than any other age group. When we tried to send a GIF from the Messenger app to a kid profile, we received the following error message: "GIFs can't be sent to Messenger Kids accounts".

The Facebook Messenger Kids app is an app especially for the kids that they can use to chat with family and friends. "People said that it would be ideal for Facebook to clarify their policies from the beginning so that it would be perfectly clear what parents are signing up for". Facebook also said it won't automatically move users to the regular Messenger or Facebook when they get old enough.

If a child does decide to join full Facebook, it will be a brand new account with no data carried over from what was said on Messenger Kids. How many more years can Donald Trump sustain them? But it's raised questions over whether it's wise for kids to start on social media that young. The rules for traditional Facebook services will not change.

Children's charity Barnardo's has also criticised the social media site over the new app. "This is by far the most clumsy part of Messenger Kids", TechCrunch reported.

"The risk of exposure to things [children] were not developmentally prepared for is huge", said Kristelle Lavallee, a children's psychology expert who worked with Facebook to develop the app, reports The Guardian.

There is tentative support for what Facebook is doing. One user gave the product one star and commented: "Way too easy for children to sign up without parents' knowledge". If a child has already become familiar with the Facebook infrastructure and has become hooked, it does seem rather likely that they'll continue into their teen years and beyond. Sadly the photo of rear ends made it through to the Kids Messenger app, which doesn't inspire confidence that Facebook's AI can successfully block out nudity.

As YouTube found out when disturbing videos found their way onto YouTube Kids, trying to make a child-safe space is hard - a minority of people will always be looking at ways to get around protections.

For now, the app is only available for Apple products, but will soon be coming to Android and Google.

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