Social media giant Facebook is launching a new messenger app aimed at children under 13-years-old.
In a post, Facebook said the app, dubbed ‘Messenger Kids’, was designed to give parents more control when their children start communicating online.
“Today, in the US, we’re rolling out a preview of Messenger Kids, a new app that makes it easier for kids to safely video chat and message with family and friends when they can’t be together in person,” the company said.
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The idea for the new messaging app came about after Facebook spoke to thousands of parents, associations and experts, who ended up co-developing the app with Facebook.
“After talking to thousands of parents and associations like National PTA, we found that there’s a need for a messaging app that lets kids connect with people they love but also has the level of control parents want,” the company said.
“To give kids and parents a fun, safer solution, we built Messenger Kids, a standalone app that lives on kids’ tablets or smartphones but can be controlled from a parent’s Facebook account.”
Once a child’s account is set up by a parent, kids can start a one-on-one or group video chat with parent-approved contacts only.
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.
A library of kid-appropriate and specially chosen GIFs, frames, stickers, masks and drawing tools will also be available to “let them decorate content and express their personalities.”
It’s not yet known when the app will be rolled out in Australia.
More information can be found here.