Facebook Releases Messenger App For Under 13s

Facebook has released ‘Messenger Kids,’ an app designed so that under 13s can communicate over social media.

The social media platform usually requires that users are at least 13 years old, but Facebook is keen to reach a younger audience and compete with other platforms such as Snapchat.

Research showed that young kids were already using technology regularly, but were using apps designed for teens and adults, raising concerns among parents that their children could be targeted by strangers.  

Facebook Messenger Kids gets around this problem by requiring parents to set up an account and approve their children’s contacts

Facebook spokeswoman, Lauren Svensson said:

“There’s really a gap in the market for a messaging app for kids that also gives parents control. We’re going to see how kids are using it, and that will allow us to add updates in future versions as necessary.”

The app is controlled by a parent’s Facebook account and allows kids to use video chat and share photographs, video, and texts to friends who have been approved by their parents.

Right now, the new service is only available in the United States and on Apple operating systems. Facebook spoke with 1,200 parents as well as online security and child development specialists while developing the app.

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