Facebook has announced a new messenger app that will be specifically targeted towards children under the age of 13.
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. After talking to thousands of parents, associations like National PTA, and parenting experts in the US, 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.
Facebook stated that the new app will “lives on kids’ tablets or smartphones, but can be controlled from a parents’ Facebook account” and that the app will support “GIFs, frames, stickers, masks and drawing tools” for children to decorate their selfies and photos.
Facebook claims that no advertisements will appear on the app and that they will never use data collected from children using the app. The app is currently available in the United States and is expected to roll out to other countries in the near future.
The new app reportedly allows parents to decide which contacts their children are approved to talk to:
Messenger Kids is full of features for kids to connect with the people they love. Once their account is set up by a parent, kids can start a one-on-one or group video chat with parent-approved contacts. The home screen shows them at a glance who they are approved to talk to, and when those contacts are online.
This new app has been released shortly after the UK’s National Crime Agency warned that live streaming websites pose an “urgent threat” as abusers use the websites to prey on young children.
Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or email him at [email protected]