Children are the future… of Facebook. According to Tech Crunch, Mark Zuckerberg & Co. are aiming to make Facebook more kid-friendly with a messaging app that allows children to chat with their parents and with friends who are approved by the parents.
Based on Facebook’s current rules, users under 13 are not allowed to have their own accounts, which is not to say they don’t create them anyway. So the new app is geared towards creating a space for the pre-teen set that caters to their needs and safety.
Messenger Kids, which works as an extension of a parent’s account, comes complete with detection filters that prevent users from sharing explicit material, and there’s even a kid-friendly GIF sharing engine and Snapchat-esque filters for video chats. In the event that something sketchy does get shared, there’s a specially tailored reporting interface with a dedicated, 24/7 support team.
In compliance with the Online Privacy Protections Act (COPPA), Facebook will not be monetizing the new app or collecting and compiling data on those who use it. The app does, however, prime a generation of future Facebook users. Right now, Messenger Kids is only available on iOS, but Android is coming soon.
Despite a host of parental controls, mom and dad may be surprised to discover they can’t remotely spy on their kid’s conversations without asking to look at their child’s device. Even if their child reports a piece of content, parents are notified but not shown whatever it was their kid reported.
At this rate, Facebook is setting themselves up to be the only trans-generational social media platform. Now, if only you could get your kid off Snapchat.
The app is available here.