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Facebook To Launch Dedicated Messenger App for Preteens

Facebook To Launch Dedicated Messenger App for Preteens

Some children's and privacy groups commended Facebook for saying that Messenger Kids would give parents control over children's messaging and not show ads to children.

We've worked extensively with parents and families to shape Messenger Kids and we're looking forward to learning and listening as more children and families start to use the iOS preview.

"While we appreciate Facebook taking steps to protect this vulnerable population by including parental controls, establishing an ad-free environment, and restricting some data collection, we remain concerned about where sensitive information collected through this app could end up and for what goal it could be used", they wrote. The app will seek for the approval of parents for both activating an account as well as to add a new contact.

Created to be compliant with the Children's Online Privacy and Protection Act (COPPA) which forbids children under the age of 13 from giving out their personal information without a parent's permission, every child account on Messenger Kids must be set up by a parent. They'll still have to build a traditional Facebook account from scratch when they're ready.

In addition to video chat, kids can send photos, videos or text messages to their parent-approved friends and adult relatives, who will receive the messages via their regular Messenger app.

The senators want proof that Facebook is complying with Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, a Federal Trade Commission regulation that imposes rules on collecting data from children under 13 on the internet. Messenger Kids is interoperable with the main Messenger app, so adults don't actually have to download the Kids app. With their parents' permission, however, they can chat with approved Messenger and Messenger Kids users from a parent's account.




Analysts say that messaging apps give Facebook a chance to tap into a younger generation that they have been losing; earlier this year, the company bought tbh - a popular teen messaging app.

Messenger Kids is full of features for kids to connect with the people they love.

Authenticate: Then, authenticate your child's device using your own Facebook username and password.

Those companies, in turn, must have their own privacy policies to protect children, the app's privacy policy said. "We appreciate that for now, the product is ad-free and appears created to put parents in control". Facebook is indeed coming for your kids. But, she also warned, many products that start as noncommercial can change over time. "I think we're at an interesting moment, and there are a lot of moves into that marketplace". The company has no plans to release a similar kids-only platform for its other main social network, Instagram.

Facebook said the point of Messenger Kids was to provide a more controlled environment for the types of activities that were occurring across smartphones and tablets among family members.

"The reality is that kids are going to go use apps if they're under 13", he said. "We've been working closely with the FTC so we're lockstep with them".


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