"Kids as young as 10 years old easily get 300 text messages a day from social media interactions; this is too stressful". If the child does it, the parent is notified. Every child account on Messenger Kids must be set up by a parent. Facebook said it was fully compliant with the US Children's Online Privacy and Protection Act, and that it had worked with online safety experts including the National PTA and Blue Star Families. That is still restricted to children age 13 and up. Kids also are not allowed to delete conversations so adults can monitor their children's devices. The emphasis is on safety, with all contacts having to be approved by parents.
Facebook's expansion into this market raised some alarm bells. "But why should parents simply trust that Facebook is acting in the best interest of kids?" said Jim Steyer, executive director of Common Sense Media, in a statement. "There are no ads in Messenger Kids and your child's information isn't used for ads".
No ads means that Facebook will collect "little data" since it won't be doing targeted advertising towards kids on Messenger Kids. Facebook says it has inserted special proactive detection safety filters to prevent kids from sharing sexual content, nudity or violence. Davis said that Facebook spoke with the Federal Trade Commission to ensure that the app complies with COPPA.
The Fountas family got a chance to try out the app. What children don't have access to is social networks like Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, and YouTube.
Messenger Kids, which is rolling out in the United States in the Apple app store, is a standalone product. "I think we're at an interesting moment, and there are a lot of moves into that marketplace". 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.
Facebook announced on Monday that it will introduce a new kid-friendly version of its messaging app. Parents need to authenticate it to their own account before setting up the kids account. They also have control over their kid's online activities. Facebook's safeguards have made it more hard for strangers to contact a child, they said.
Both kids and parents can block contacts at any time.
Now the app is only available for iOS, although Android support is expected. "They use family-shared devices - and many, as young as six or seven years old, even have their own". Facebook says there is a "library of kid-appropriate and specially chosen GIFs, frames, stickers, masks and drawing tools lets them decorate content and express their personalities". "The question becomes: Do we simply ban them and fight a losing fight?"