Facebook recently introduced an app, called Messenger Kids.
With “Messenger Kids” parents can now download the app on their child’s phone or tablet. After that they can create a profile for them. This app is targeted at children under age 13.
Therefore, parent’s approval is mandatory to use this app.
Once they have got the parent’s approval, children can then message. Add filters. And doodle on photos they send to one another. Parents will have to approve with whom the child can video chat.
Moreover, Messenger Kids provides a more controlled environment.
Facebook says it is a privacy-focused app. It is designed to neutralize child predator threats. Such threats that already plague youth-focused competitors like Snapchat.
Hence, to aid in developing the app, the company spent months talking to parenting groups. The company also spoke to child behavioural experts and safety organizations (according to Facebook Newsroom).
Messenger Kids app is the answer to discourage children from getting new Facebook accounts themselves. Facebook’s terms of service require that users be 13 or older. Above all, only a parent with a Facebook account can set up the app for his or her child.
A child’s profile can only be created after adults enter their Facebook account information into the app. Then they approve which friends can chat with their child. They also approve which relatives the child can connect with. Consequently, parents need to approve every additional friend request.
It also gathers information about what the child interacts with on the service. What features they use and how long the children use them.
Most noteworthy is the special proactive detection safety filters. This filter prevents the child from sharing nudity, sexual content or violence. Additionally, a dedicated support team will respond quickly to reported or flagged content.
Facebook search still can’t find kids who are on Messenger Kids. Therefore, this feature will protect a child’s privacy.
Furthermore, if a child wants to be able to chat with one of their classmates, their parent must first friend that kid’s parent. This app has been rolled out in US.
In this new and expanding social media universe, parents need to think and decide on the following things –
How young is too young for children to use mobile apps?
What are the ways to safely deal with the steady creep of technology into family life?
Parents need to reduce the amount of time their sons and daughters spend in front of screens. But HOW?
What are the options? Not giving devices to kids? Or banning technology. Digital and technology is something kids will adopt?
Share your views in comments section.