Facebook launches messenger for kids under 13

It's the world's happiest phone! Because it's running Facebook Messenger for Kids

"The recently updated guidelines for children's media use from the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend families to develop a personalized Family Media Use Plan, and Messenger Kids should be part of this plan to restrict time spent on the app and make sure it enhances children's healthy development".

The free app is aimed at kids under the age of 13, who can't yet have their own accounts under Facebook's rules, though they often do. "Sometimes after 5 or 10 minutes it's really hard to have a sustained conversation with a 7-year-old", but kids can joke around with Grampa using the selfie filters when they run out of run-on stories to tell them.

Specifically, Markey and Blumenthal asked Facebook on Wednesday to clarify if it is sharing kids' personal information with "brand advertisers or any other third party".

"I'm an avid social media user, but I don't feel my kids need more social interaction", said Quirion, 39, whose three children are between ages 3 and 9.

The Facebook app, which aims to give children access to Messenger while still allowing parental control, was questioned by some media organizations and experts during its release earlier this week. "Video calls become so much more playful with AR", says Marcus.

Facebook's move is the latest from a tech behemoth that show how companies are grappling with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act. This is a law that is created to protect kids from online exploitation.

It is noted that children will be able to complain about those users who are rude when communicating.

"After talking to thousands of parents, associations like National PTA, and parenting experts in the U.S., we found that there's a need for a messaging app that lets kids connect with people they love but also has the level of control parents want".

It will allow children and adolescents to exchange messages and video calls without account registration. Parents must approve all requests before people can connect with the child.

Davis said that Facebook spoke with the Federal Trade Commission to ensure that the app is compliant with COPPA. Loren Cheng, a product management director at Facebook, wrote on Monday. The idea behind Messenger Kids comes from a good place.

Every child account on Messenger Kids must be set up by a parent. It also reserves the right to share information with other firms as necessary - such as customer service providers or companies that can help it analyze how the app is being used. Children can report bullying or any unwanted communication in the app. However, experts estimate millions of children under 13 may already be on Facebook after using false information to sign up.

Facebook's focus on younger children raised some alarm bells, however. For example, Facebook has stressed it won't serve ads on the chat app.

"We believe that it's possible to give kids a fun experience that provides more peace of mind for parents, too". 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. But, she also warned, many products that start as noncommercial can change over time.

The app launches on Apple's App Store first.

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