The Facebook Messenger Kids app looks to address security issues for parents while formulating a fun way for kids to interact online. While the internet has managed to help to keep school children connected and learning during the lockdown, it has created concerns about online safety.
Facebook’s new app is aiming to make parent’s lives a bit easier with Messenger Kids. The new app is aimed at users aged 6 to 12 in the hopes of giving parents more peace of mind.
Facebook worked closely with Youth Advisors in developing the app. These Youth advisors are made up of experts in online safety, child development and media. In bringing the app to the African market, Facebook has engaged with child safety advocates and educators to create a platform which balances parental control with features that teach kids to connect responsibly online.
Facebook has created an app that is “made for Kids but controlled by parents.” Messenger Kids will let kids start one-on-one or group video chats with anyone they’re connected to that is online. The app will let kids use masks, emojis and sound effects to bring life to their conversations. They’ll also be able to chat, send videos or photos to any parent-approved friends and adult relatives.
These messages will deliver as usual to the recipient’s regular messenger inbox. Facebook has curated a unique kid-appropriate gallery of GIFs, frames, sticker, masks and drawing tools. These will let them express themselves by enhancing and customising their content. Kojo Boakye, Facebook Public Policy Director, said:
“We know that parents are turning to technology more than ever to help their kids connect with friends and family online. With privacy, security and parental control at the heart of the app, Messenger Kids provides a safe, fun space, controlled by parents to do exactly that”.
Parents will also be able to review lists of who their children have reported or blocked and view images and videos from recent chats. Parents will be able to remove and report any images or videos that they believe are inappropriate.
Messenger Kids will also have Supervised Friending; parents will be able to choose whether their kids can accept, reject, add and remove contacts. Parents will also be able to override new connections that have been approved by their kids.
So if you’re looking for a safer alternative to get your child connected with their friends and family while learning how to behave responsibly, online Messenger Kids is worth a try.