Facebook has decided to get down to kids… more of a disguise in a Minions T-shirt and Heelys. Messenger Kids, Facebook’s new messaging, chat, and video app for between the age of 6 and 12.
Federal law prevents children who are below age 13 from possessing their Facebook accounts, however this app pledges that a lot of them are online anyway and intend to create a safe space for them, a place where parents can control who get to be in their contacts and prevent adverts and in-app purchases from gaining entrance into their still-developing minds. The app is free and just available in United States. only on iOS presently, Facebook plans extent to Android very soon.
The app has Snapchat-like filters, stickers, and drawing tools for children to play around with, also to “kid-appropriate and exclusively picked GIFs,” which is a partial-hilarious thing to think of.
Facebook consulted parenting associations like the National PTA to come up with this app. Parents must verify kids’ accounts before they can start making use of it.
Comparing Amazon’s pointless newest effort to attract a teen audience, Facebook’s new app actually noted that, inspite of the kid’s Online Privacy and Protection Act, many children have high tendency of being on services like Facebook.
In announcing the app, Facebook noted numbers from market researcher Dubit that claim that 93% of kids between age 6 and 12 are accessible to tablets or smartphones and 66% of them actually possess smartphones or tablets of their own.
While the attempt to give a non-exploitative space for children is laudable, it will not be appreciated.
A quote Facebook made in its press packet on the product gets at this pressure: “Messenger Kids is beyond just a fun way for children to communicate with parentally approved contacts.
It’s also training avenue for social media and messaging,” Larry Magid, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of ConnectSafely.org stated. Training wheels for digital learning, certainly, not to make mention of a eternal social media addiction!
Messenger Kids comes at a time when many companies are doing experiment with outlets for kids.
The New York Times lately created a regular Sunday kids’ section. However the hardship of controlling content for children has been the main concern, with YouTube’s service for kids under a spotlight for the unwanted videos that appear there.
In the case of Facebook, the challenge may partly come up: Although Snapchat has floundered since it went public early this year, it still makes a prominent contender with Facebook for the teens attraction and young adults.
With Messenger Kids, Facebook is getting ahead on hooking the future teens.
I hope many parents will be excited and embrace this new tech enabling their kids exchange GIFs with my 6-to-12-year-old friends and families, in as long as you give your approval.