Facebook Messenger Kids: how does it work and where is it available?
This page was translated using AI and machine learning.
(Pocket-lint) – Facebook is offering a version of Messenger for kids. When it launched it was only available on iPhone, but it has since expanded to Android and is also available on Amazon’s Appstore for its Fire tablets.
Appropriately called Messenger Kids, it is a messaging app designed specifically for kids aged 6-12. It doesn’t require a Facebook account, which makes sense, since US federal law says children under 13 can’t have a Facebook account.
Here’s what you need to know about it.
What is Facebook Messenger Kids?
Facebook spoke to “thousands of parents,” as well as organizations like the National PTA and various parenting experts, and found there was a need for a kids’ messaging app with parental controls. Come in : Messenger Kids. Facebook described the standalone app as an easier way for kids to “safely chat and video message with family and friends when they can’t be together in person.”
Kids can use it to video chat with a grandparent, message a cousin, or send a decorated photo to a friend. The app itself is controlled by a parent’s Facebook account, and the child does not need to have a Facebook account.
How does Facebook Messenger Kids work?
Messenger Kids is packed with kid-friendly features.
They can start a one-to-one or group video chat with parent-approved contacts right from the home screen. They will be able to see when their contacts are online and then send them photos, videos or text messages. Kids can also access a library of GIFs, frames, stickers, masks, and drawing tools to suit their needs. Adult friends will receive their messages through the usual Facebook Messenger app.
How to set up Facebook Messenger Kids?
First, download the app You can download the Messenger Kids app from the Apple App Store,the Google Play Store or the Amazon Appstore
Once you have downloaded the app on your kid’s device, you need to authenticate your kid’s device using your own Facebook username and password. Once done, you will need to create a Messenger Kids account for your child (all you need to do is provide their name – no other data is requested). At that point, your child’s device can be handed over to them so they can start using Messenger Kids.
Does your child need a Facebook account?
No. Your child doesn’t need a Facebook account, or even a regular Facebook Messenger account, but you will need to create a Messenger Kids account for your child, which only requires their name.
How do parental controls work?
To access the parental control panel for Messenger Kids, go to the main Facebook app on your device, then click “More” in the lower right corner, followed by “Messenger Kids” in the Explore section. From there, you’ll see all the available controls, like the ability to add people to your child’s approved contact list. Other parental controls include creating accounts, blocking, reporting, and deleting accounts.
How does sleep mode work?
Messenger Kids added sleep mode in 2018. It allows parents to set pre-determined “off times” for the app on a child’s device. When parents set an off time, every day at the designated time, the app will “go to sleep” and is not accessible to children during those hours. Sleep mode is controlled from the Parental Control Center.
- Go to Messenger Kids controls in your Facebook app. Tap on your child’s name, then tap on “Sleep Mode” in the App Controls section.
- Set the times you want the app to turn off for your child.
- That’s all. When the app is in sleep mode, children cannot send or receive messages or video calls, play with the camera, or receive notifications. If they try to open the app, they will see a message telling them that it is in sleep mode.
Parents can access all of their controls from the Messenger Kids controls in the main Facebook app. From here you can also add and remove contacts, delete the child’s account or create a new account directly from the control panel.
Is Facebook Messenger Kids safe?
The Campaign for an Ad-Free Childhood sent a letter to Facebook raising concerns about the app and recommending that it be removed. The organization has not yet received a response from Facebook. As a result, the CCFC said it found it “worrying that Facebook, in the face of widespread concern, is aggressively marketing Messenger Kids to even more children.”
Does Facebook Messenger Kids contain ads?
No. There are no ads in Messenger Kids. Facebook also said that your child’s information will not be used for advertisements.
Is Facebook Messenger Kids free?
Messenger Kids is free and there are no in-app purchases.
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Written by Elyse Betters. Edited by Cam Bunton.