How Messenger Kids works | Features and functions of Messenger for kids

We are discussing the topic: How Messenger Kids works | Features and functions of Messenger for kids

How Messenger Kids works

It’s important to understand that kids under 13 still can’t sign up for a Facebook account. Instead, parents download the Messenger Kids app to a child’s iPhone or iPad (Android coming soon). Once the parent has authenticated it with their own account, they set up a mini-profile with their kid’s name and photo. Then, using the Messenger Kids bookmark in the main Facebook app, parents can approve anyone who is friends with them as a contact for their kid, like aunts and uncles or godparents. Messenger Kids is interoperable with the main Messenger app, so adults don’t actually have to download the Kids app.

Kids still can’t be found through Facebook search, which protects their privacy. So if a child wants to be able to chat with one of their classmates, their parent must first friend that kid’s parent, and then will see the option to approve that adult’s child as a contact for their own kid. This is by far the most clumsy part of Messenger Kids, and something Facebook might be able to improve with a way for Messenger Kids to let children perhaps photograph a QR code on their playmate’s app to request that their parents connect.

When children open the Messenger Kids app, they’ll see a color-customizable home screen with big tiles representing their existing chat threads and approved contacts, with their last message and the last time they were online. From there, kids can dive instantly into a video chat or text thread with their contacts. No message content is collected for ad targeting (same as Messenger), and there’s no in-app purchases to worry about. Kids can block and unblock their parent-approved contacts.

In June, The Information reported Facebook was working on an app for teens called Talk, though that’s a bit different than this pre-teen Messenger Kids app.

While Facebook said in the briefing that the app was designed for kids age 6 to 12, younger kids are allowed on, too. When children turn 13, they won’t instantly have their Messenger Kids profiles turned into real Facebook profiles, nor will they get kicked off Messenger Kids. They’ll still have to build a traditional Facebook account from scratch when they’re ready.

The launch could be a sign that Facebook is growing up. With Facebook almost 14 years old itself, children not yet born when it launched are now allowed on its main app. CEO Mark Zuckerberg just had two kids. So did his lieutenants Chris Cox, CPO, and Andrew Bosworth, head of hardware. It’s hard to think about connecting the world if your products can’t connect your own family.

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