In December 2017, Facebook launched messenger for kids in select regions. A kid friendly app for children between the ages of 6 and 12 to communicate with family and friends without creating a Facebook account. Instead, the app comes with parental dashboard to keep parents in full control of their childrens’ online experience.
Since then, Facebook has engaged parents and children experts from around the world on how to make the app better and how to make it work as a digital playground for children as they engage with their social circles with full approval of their parents.
Earlier this month, Messenger Kids finally started rolling out in Sub Saharan Africa. The App which has input from child safety advocates, youth advisors, educators, child development experts and media provides a service that balances parental control with features that help kids learn how to connect responsibly online.
Some of the features on the app are playful masks, emojis, sound effects and a library of kid-appropriate and specially chosen GIFs, frames, stickers, and drawing tools to let them decorate content and express their personalities. All these activities including who the kids can friend are parent approved since the app mirrors on the parent’s dashboard where they’re able to monitor and control kid’s activities.
Monitor recent contacts, chat history, and reported and blocked contacts: including who your child is chatting with, whether they are video chatting or sending messages and how frequently those conversations happened over the past 30 days. You’ll also see a list of the contacts your child has blocked and/or unblocked, if they have reported any messages as well as any contacts they’ve reported and the reason for their action. Parents will continue to be notified via Messenger if their child blocks or reports someone.
See a log of images and videos in chats: See the most recent photos and videos your child has sent and received in their inbox. If you believe an image or video is not appropriate for your child, you can remove it from your child’s message thread and report it.
Enable Supervised Friending: This feature will enable parents to choose to allow their kids to also accept, reject, add or remove contacts, while maintaining the ability to override any new contact approvals from the Parent Dashboard. When a kid takes a friending action, parents will be notified through Messenger and can override any new connections made by going to the Parent Dashboard, where they will also be able to see a log of recent activities.
Remote Device Logout: See all devices where your child is logged in to Messenger Kids and log out of the app on any device through the Parent Dashboard
Download your child’s information: Request a copy of your child’s Messenger Kids information, similar to how you can download your own information within the Facebook app. The download will include a list of your child’s contacts as well as the messages, images and videos they have sent and received. Your child will be notified through the Messenger Kids app when you request this information.
Quick notes about Messenger Kids app
- There are no ads in Messenger Kids and your child’s information isn’t used for ads.
- It is free to download Google Play and the App Store and there are no in-app purchases.
- Messenger Kids is also designed to be compliant with the Children’s Online Privacy and Protection Act (COPPA).
- Facebook continues to work with parents, safety and security experts to improve Messenger Kids and have also announced new ways to help parents connect kids with their friends.
- For more specific information about the app, visit messengerkids.com.
- For the latest on how to use Messenger Kids, visit our Help Center