News Worms
News Worms

Facebook made a Messenger app that's just for kids

Facebook made a Messenger app that's just for kids

"Whether it's using video chat to talk to grandparents, staying in touch with cousins who live far away, or sending mom a decorated photo while she's working late to say hi, Messenger Kids opens up a new world of online communication to families", wrote Loren Cheng, Facebook's product management director in a blog post. If two children want to be friends with each other, each will have to get parental approval for contact.

Facebook said the app will not feature in-app purchases or ads nor will the child's information be used for ads. These controls are accessible through the main Facebook app. Only parents have the ability to add friends or delete messages. Kids don't get a separate Facebook or Messenger account; rather, it's an extension of a parent's account.

It's "The Social Network" meets "Sesame Street".

"The parent really is helping to establish that social community", said Antigone Davis, Facebook's head of global security and families. We heard that they were looking for better apps for their children to use and from there, we worked directly with parents and kids along with experts in child development, online safety and children's media to help build our first app for kids.

"New aspects of the product will emerge", said Montgomery, in her role as a senior consultant for the Center for Digital Democracy. Once their account is set up by a parent, kids can start a one-on-one or group video chat with parent-approved contacts.

Facebook is about to launch a standalone Messenger application just for kids.

Messenger Kids is the product of over 12 months of development by the Messenger team, which also spoke to hundreds of parents, primarily in the US, as well as the United Kingdom and Australia. Facebook's safeguards have made it more hard for strangers to contact a child, they said.

Messenger Kids is launching in preview today for iPhone and iPad users in the us 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. It will be soon available for Android and Amazon Kindle devices.

Kristelle Lavallee, a children's psychology expert who advised Facebook on designing the service, called it a "useful tool" but also noted, "The risk of exposure to things they were not developmentally prepared for is huge". Magid said it may be more realistic to encourage companies to create safer, more limited and legally compliant services as a sort of "training wheels" version of more mainstream social media. "They need to be outside, interacting with their friends (and family) in person and learning how to have real conversation and social skills", Hempe said.


editors' picks

December 05, 2017 raises $12 million from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and others
It's Computer Science Education Week , and Apple is offering thousands of free coding sessions at all Apple Stores. The event gets its name from an hour-long introduction to computer science class designed by

December 05, 2017
Irish PM 'surprised and disappointed' by no deal on Irish border
She said: "There are a couple of issues, some differences do remain which require further negotiation and consultation". The Irish prime minister said he is "surprised and disappointed" that there was no agreement in Brexit talks today .

December 05, 2017
Malta arrests 10 over Caruana Galizia auto bomb murder
Malta has a reputation as a tax haven in the European Union and has attracted companies and money from outside Europe as well. Television reported that Caruana Galizia had filed a complaint to the police two weeks ago to say she had received threats.

December 05, 2017
NY AG Calls for Probe, Delayed Net Neutrality Vote
The basis for this request comes from mounting evidence that a portion of the FCC's 22 million public comments regarding Title II regulations may have been fake.

December 04, 2017
Hit-and-run driver rams into crowd on sidewalk
As several people were trying to stop the fight, a auto came rushing down the sidewalk, plowed into the group and kept going. Police are now looking into the details, but so far the incident is not believed to be terrorism related, according to AP.

December 04, 2017
Metropolitan Opera Responds To James Levine Investigation
The unnamed victim said in his statement to police "It nearly destroyed my family and almost led me to suicide". The alleged victim came forward to the Lake Forest police department in October 2016 to detail the molestation.

December 04, 2017
Ending the weekend with warm and cloudy conditions
We will continue to see reinforcing shots of cold air from Thursday through next weekend, keeping temperatures quite cool. Clearing skies behind the front will give way to dry conditions and clear skies with overnight lows in the 50s.

December 04, 2017
Garrison Keillor Fired Over Allegations Of Improper Behavior
As of Wednesday afternoon, Keillor's personal website had been scrubbed of everything except a separate written statement. In an email to the Star Tribune , he says he meant to pat a woman on her back when she told him she was unhappy.

December 04, 2017
Oh Look, iOS 11 Had Yet Another Phone-Breaking Bug
Apple earlier today released iOS 11 .2, an update that includes a number of welcome new features and important bug fixes. The bug was reported soon by the officials and the new update was soon released after realizing the issue.

December 04, 2017
Portugal Coach Santos Cautious About Iran, Morocco
Five-time champions Brazil will play against Switzerland in Rostov and has further pairings with Costa Rica and Serbia. France heads Group C , slotted with three teams who needed the playoffs to reach Russia: Australia, Denmark and Peru.