Facebook debuts 'Messenger Kids' with parental supervision tools

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The Messenger Kids app can be controlled by a parent from their Facebook account and it has been co-developed by Facebook with parents, experts as well as kids.

Parents approve all the friend requests.

The Facebook Messenger Kids app is an app especially for the kids that they can use to chat with family and friends. Versions for Android and Amazon's tablets are coming later. " said Loren Cheng, Product Management Director, Facebook".

She added, "But it is too early to understand fully how young people's engagement with this new generation of digital interactive platforms will impact their psychosocial development".

Parents are often anxious about what their kids do on social media and whom they are talking to, especially Facebook.

At the same time, parents were willing to let their children aged 6 to 12 use social media as long as there was strict parental control.

Kids will not show up in Facebook search results, so if a kid wants to chat with a friend, the parent will have to work with the friend's parent to get them both approved.

Lavallee, who is content strategist at the Center on Media and Child Health at Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard University, called Messenger Kids a "useful tool" that "makes parents the gatekeepers".

Facebook has promised the data will not be used in any way to power the "grown up" Facebook. Parents won't be able to spy on their kids' chats.

Facebook Kids is designed for under-13s who are now not allowed to use the Facebook social network. Even so, Balkam said millions of kids under 13 are already on Facebook, with or without their parents' approval. According to some users on Facebook, they claim it to be a DDOS attack on Facebook's chat servers. Any user can download it as it is free and there are no in-app purchases, the company said in a post.

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