Facebook requires everyone to be at least 13 years old before they can create an account, but according to reports more than half of kids under-13s in the UK have an illegal Facebook account (after their parents helped them to sign up).
In a bid to ensure that the kids experience a legal part of Facebook, albeit, in a controlled environment, Facebook has created Messenger Kids, a trimmed down version of Facebook Messenger for children.
To use, parents would have to use their own Facebook accounts to create a Messenger profile for their Kids. The app itself looks like the regular messenger but messages that are sent and received are controlled by the parents. Parents also decide who their children are able to talk to or connect with. Then you have the infusion of AR and the ability to use GIFs and stickers as well as the video chat feature.
Now, here are some things to note about Messenger Kids:
- This is not the same as creating a Facebook account.
- These accounts won’t be converted to Facebook accounts once the kid turns 13.
- Messenger Kids won’t contain ads.
- You can’t search for a kid’s name.
- There’s no way for parents to secretly spy on what their kids are saying in their chats. Instead, parents have to ask to look at their kids’ screen.
At the moment, Messenger for Kids is only available to iOS users in the US, but the Android/iOS version should be available globally in the coming months.
What do you think?