Facebook to launch chat app for children

Introducing Messenger Kids, a New App For Families to Connect | Facebook Newsroom

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Or use what was discussed in Messenger Kids to target ads at teens as they graduate into over-13 Facebook.

Children under 13 are now not allowed to use Facebook, but the company has launched a new messaging app, aimed at those as young as six - which needs parental approval before it can be used.

On Messenger Kids, all accounts are set up by parents.

Facebook said that the new app, with no ads or in-app purchases, is aimed at 6- to 12-year-olds.

"Messenger Kids gives parents more control".

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Facebook Messenger's head David Marcus said, "It's really hard to keep the control over who [kids] communicate with, how they communicate, what tools are at their disposal".

"If we ban every screen from use in the home, sooner or later they're going to be in a playground and another child is going to have a phone without the adequate protection on it". On the other hand, 84% of online adults in the USA aged 30-49 used Facebook in 2016, up from 79% in 2015, according to Pew Research Center.

The app is now only available in the USA on Apple's iOS operating system.

"I think this is the solution because it allows the parents to approve whoever he talks to and to have that kind of control, I think it solves a lot of the issues with safety", one mom said.

Once verified, the app allows the children to take part in live video chats, send pictures and text to each other.

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Now finish the setup process by creating an account for your child, where all you'll need to do is provide their name.

The app will offer a variety of child friendly GIFs, camera effects, filters, stickers and frames, plus Facebook says that the app will not show any advertisements and will not store data. So time will tell if Messenger Kids is the hit they're looking for to grab the next generation of F-book lovers.

"A messenger app for kids under 13 that only parents can sign them up for sounds like a nice idea on its face", said James Steyer, the organisation's chief executive.

The free Messenger Kids app is connected to parents' Facebook accounts.

"As children increasingly have access to tablets and smartphones at younger ages, parents shouldn't have to choose between giving kids access to no internet and the whole internet".

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