Facebook made the controversial decision back in 2014 to remove private messaging from the main app, moving it instead into Facebook Messenger. The preview of the app is presently available on the App Store for iPad, iPod touch and iPhone users only.
The internet is riddled with threats, scams, child predators, and inappropriate content, which is why Facebook doesn't allow kids to sign up and use its platform.
In addition to our research with thousands of parents, we've engaged with over a dozen expert advisors in the areas of child development, online safety and children's media and technology who've helped inform our approach to building our first app for kids. It offers parents complete control over what their children are doing over the Web.
When children turn 13, they won't instantly have their Messenger Kids profiles turned into real Facebook profiles, nor will they get kicked off Messenger Kids. Then, using the Messenger Kids bookmark in the main Facebook app, parents can approve anyone who is friends with them as a contact for their kid, like aunts and uncles or godparents.
When children open the Messenger Kids app, they'll see a color-customizable home screen with big tiles representing their existing chat threads and approved contacts, with their last message and the last time they were online.
Facebook on Monday announced it would be rolling out a preview of Messenger Kids in the United States, a new parent-controlled app to make it easier for kids to video chat and message with loved ones.
"Why should parents simply trust that Facebook is acting in the best interest of kids?"
The free service, called Messenger Kids, must be activated by the child's parents.
Authenticate: Then, authenticate your child's device using your own Facebook username and password. They'll still have to build a traditional Facebook account from scratch when they're ready.
The new app doesn't create an account for kids; parents are asked to provide only their child's name. Parents will not have to download any additional app, as everything for their kids can be accessed within the main Messenger account of theirs.
With the ACCC already breathing down its neck, Facebook has come out with its newest ploy - Messenger Kids.
There are no ads in Messenger Kids and your child's information isn't used for ads. "We appreciate that for now, the product is ad-free and appears created to put parents in control".
The creation of Messenger Kids is not an isolated initiative, rather it comes as part of a conscious push from the social media megaforce to increase its presence amongst youths.
This preview of Messenger Kids is only available in the USA at this time on the Apple App Store, and will be coming to Amazon App Store and Google Play Store in the coming months.