December 8, 2017
Facebook since its launch has innovated the way we socialize taking it to the whole new level. Though children all over the world know what is it, but, they cannot access it due to age limitation. Now to get them more acquainted with it earlier in life, Facebook has launched its new app Messenger Kids catering to children aged 6 to 12. It is currently available for iOS users only.
Children will not be able to access the app on their own, but the parents will download the app on their children’s iPhone or iPad, create a profile for them and accept the friends or relatives they can chat or have video calls with. Children from the age of 6 till 12 will be able to use this app but under the supervision of their parents. The app also allocates parents the access to control their child’s contact list, while a plain home screen shows pre-approved online friends and preexisting individual chats and group threads.
Protection of children’s privacy and rights
Facebook states that it has taken every necessary step to make the app child-friendly and respect their privacy that too according to Children’s Online Privacy and Protection Act, or COPPA, the federal law that protects the privacy and rights of children’s online presence. The app comes without any ads so that the children’s information is not used for it and the app is not exploitive under any circumstances.
The most child-friendly app
Messenger Kids has been specifically designed to provide text and video chat including playful and funny filters and masks. Facebook states that Messenger Kids has a library of child-appropriate and particularly chosen GIFs, frames, stickers, masks and drawing tools that let them decorate content and express themselves according to their personalities.
The main purpose of the app
Studies worldwide are showing that children have online presence quite early and mostly on the platforms which are for teens or even adults. It has been observed that children start to use messaging apps as soon as at the age of 6. The idea behind this app is to let the children have their freedom and access to online messaging but with the parent’s consent and under their supervision.
Facebook is apparently targeting its prospective users
Though the shell seems all friendly and safe but it is a fact that eventually is targeting the upcoming generation of its users. When the children will be using the app and are habitual of it, it is obvious that they will move on the main messenger app and create a Facebook account as soon as they will turn 13.
It is a mere fact that online presence and socializing have become an integral part of our lives and it is definitely not an alien world for children. It is a good aspect that companies are thinking about children and developing apps that are especially designed for them and come with superior protection and surveillance. With the update of YouTube Kids and now the launch of Messenger Kids, it is a relief to see the online world becoming safer for children’s presence.