(Pocket-Lint) – Facebook has a version of Messenger for kids. When it first launched, it was only available on the iPhone but has since rolled out to Android and is also available on the Amazon Appstore for its Fire tablets.
Properly referred to as Messenger Kids, this is a messaging app designed specifically for children ages 6 to 12. It does not require a Facebook account, which makes sense, considering US federal law prohibits children under the age of 13 from using Facebook. Account
Here’s what you need to know about it.
What is Facebook Messenger Kids?
Facebook has spoken to “thousands of parents”, as well as associations like the National PTA and various parental experts, and has found the need for a children’s messaging app with parental control. Enter: Messenger Kids. Facebook has described the standalone app as an easy way for kids to “safely video chat and send messages to family and friends when they can’t be together in private”.
Kids can use it to video chat with grandparents or message cousins or send a sorted picture to a friend. The app itself is controlled through the parent’s Facebook account and does not require the child to have an actual Facebook account.
How does Facebook Messenger Kids work?
Messenger Kids is full of features for kids only.
They can start one-on-one or group video chats directly from the home screen – with parent-approved contacts. They’ll be able to see their contacts online and then send them photos, videos or text messages. Children can access a library of GIFs, frames, stickers, masks and drawing tools suitable for children. Adult friends will receive their messages regularly through the Facebook Messenger app.
How do you set up Facebook Messenger Kids?
Once you download the app to your child’s device, you’ll need to authenticate your child’s device using your own Facebook username and password. Once this is done, you need to create a Messenger Kids account for your child (all you have to do is provide their names – no other data is requested). At that point, your child’s device may be returned to them so they can start using Messenger Kids.
Does your child need a Facebook account?
No. Your child does not need a Facebook account, not even a regular Facebook Messenger account, although you do need to create a Messenger Kids account for your child, which only requires their name.
How does parental control work?
To access the Parental Control Panel for Messenger Kids, go to the main Facebook app on your device, then click “More” in the bottom right corner, then click “Messenger Kids” in the Explore section. From there, you’ll see all available controls, including the ability to add people to your child’s authorized contact list. Other parental controls include creating, blocking, reporting and deleting accounts.
How does sleep mode work?
Messenger Kids added a slip mode in 2018. This allows parents to set the default “off time” for the app on the child’s device. When parents set a set off time, at a set time each day, the app will “go to sleep” and children will not be accessible during that time. Sleep mode is controlled from the Parental Control Center.
- Go to Messenger Kids Control on your Facebook app. Tap on your child’s name, and then tap “Slip Mode” in the app control section.
- Set when you want to close the app for your child.
- That’s it. When the app is in sleep mode, kids cannot send or receive messages or video calls, play with the camera, or receive notifications. If they try to open the app, they will see a message stating that it is in sleep mode.
Parents can access all their controls from Messenger Kids Control, the main Facebook app. From there, you can add and delete contacts from the control panel, delete the child’s account, or create a new account.
Is Facebook Messenger Kids Safe?
Sending campaigns for a commercial-free childhood A letter Facebook describes its concerns with the app and recommends that the company shut it down. No response has been received from the organization yet. As a result, The CCFC said it had found it “It’s disturbing that Facebook, in the face of widespread concern, is aggressively marketing Messenger Kids to more kids.”
Do you have Facebook Messenger Kids ads?
No. Messenger Kids has no ads. Facebook also said that your child’s information will not be used for advertising.
Is Facebook Messenger Kids Free?
Messenger Kids is free and there are no in-app purchases.
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Want to know more?
Please visit messengerkids.com.
Written by Elyse Betters. Edited by Cam Bunton.