Facebook unwraps Messenger for kids

Leigh Mccormick
December 6, 2017

If your child never makes a contact request, but you want to change a setting on their account, you just need to tap on the Explore section of your Facebook app or desktop and select the Messenger Kids.

Jeremy Hunt has criticised Facebook for creating a version of its Messenger app specifically for children. Clicking on the linked message directs parents to the Messenger Kids manager, where you can add or remove contacts, or even delete the child's account outright.

Although the app has already drawn some criticism, Facebook say it will be completely safe as children will only be allowed to use the app once their parents sign up and agree to the terms and conditions. A lot like the Facebook Messenger app for adults, but with parental controls. This is why Facebook and many other social media companies prohibit younger kids from joining.

"Facebook says parents can control which relative children connect with but evidence shows they are more likely to be abused by someone close to them than complete strangers, so we cannot trust that all parents have the best interests of their child at heart".

Once it is installed on a young person's tablet or smartphone it can be controlled using an adult Facebook account, who must pre-approve who they can talk to.

Playful masks, emojis and sound effects bring conversations to life. Messenger Kids is designed as a legal way for kids to participate.

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Messenger Kids is launching in the U.S. from Monday, but a United Kingdom launch date has not been confirmed. Then, authenticate your child's device using your own Facebook username and password. It doesn't create an account for my too-young children.

The social network said it had consulted with parents and experts to ensure child safety in using the app, but Mr Hunt has accused the tech giant of failing to act responsibly.

Moderated GIFs are also slated to be available from Giphy, however when we tested out the Messenger Kids app, that feature was not available. The app is free to download and there isn't any kind in-app purchase, according to a blog post written by the company itself. Plus, it follows all the rules of COPPA, the law that protects children's online privacy.

The app is now available only on Apple App Store and will subsequently be released on Amazon App Store and Google Play Store in the coming months.

The health secretary said he had spoken to the company and claimed it had pledged to take tougher action to stop underage children using its network.

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