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Facebook today is rolling out a preview for a new standalone app aimed at kids under the age of 13, which the company says was built to make it easier for kids to "safely video chat and message with family and friends." The "Messenger Kids" preview is available only on iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad in the United States, letting young family members download the app, which can then be controlled by their parent's Facebook account.

Facebook said that it developed the app with guidance from the National PTA, as well as experts in child development and online safety. Messenger Kids does not require children to create a Facebook account, but instead asks parents to download the app, authenticate it, and then create a miniature profile of their kid that is linked to the parent's Facebook account.

messenger-kids-2.jpg

Once parents set up an account, kids can have one-on-one or group video calls only with contacts approved by their parents. The home screen of the app shows these approved contacts, as well as which are online.
Whether it's using video chat to talk to grandparents, staying in touch with cousins who live far away, or sending mom a decorated photo while she's working late to say hi, Messenger Kids opens up a new world of online communication to families. This preview is available on the App Store for iPad, iPod touch, and iPhone.
Like other Facebook apps, there are a wide variety of masks, emojis, and sound effects to use within video chats. Kids will be able to send photos, videos, and text messages -- and edit them with GIFs, frames, stickers, and doodling tools -- to their friends also on Messenger Kids, as well as adult family members. The adult contacts will receive these messages on their normal Messenger app.

messenger-3.jpg

For parents, there will now be a Messenger Kids parental controls panel on their own Facebook app, where they can approve or disallow certain contacts from being able to talk with their kid. Facebook said that there are "no ads" in Messenger Kids and any of the child's information from the app "isn't used for ads."

Messenger Kids is available on the iOS App Store for free starting today [Direct Link], and Facebook confirmed that there are no in-app purchases. For more information, visit Facebook's new website for the kid-focused app.

Article Link: Facebook Announces Messenger App for Kids That Parents Can Remotely Monitor
 

newdeal

macrumors 68020
Oct 21, 2009
2,415
1,531
genius, bring it to Canada. iPads parental controls are DRASTICALLY lacking by themselves and in regards to limiting who your child can communicate with seem to be virtually non-existent
 

DanielDD

macrumors 6502a
Apr 5, 2013
505
4,314
Portugal
I don’t like this idea at all. Kids should have a place to talk to theithem friends without constant surveillance.

Edit: under 13 years old, I guess. That would be fine
 
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newdeal

macrumors 68020
Oct 21, 2009
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I thought you weren’t allowed to signup for Facebook unless you were 13......seems weird to release an app that targets under 13...

its a standalone app, not under facebook and its controlled by an adults account
[doublepost=1512396507][/doublepost]
I don’t like this idea at all. Kids should have a place to talk to theithem friends without constant surveillance

do you have kids?
 

DanielDD

macrumors 6502a
Apr 5, 2013
505
4,314
Portugal
its a standalone app, not under facebook and its controlled by an adults account
[doublepost=1512396507][/doublepost]

do you have kids?

I edited my post. As long as this only targets people on pre-teenage years, that’s fine. Otherwise, big no no
 

earthTOmitchel

Contributing Editor
Staff member
Mar 6, 2015
391
588
Louisiana
I thought you weren’t allowed to signup for Facebook unless you were 13......seems weird to release an app that targets under 13...
Added information to clarify this... kids don't need Facebook account for this, it is directly linked and authenticated by their parent's account.
 
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jellyjeff

macrumors newbie
Jul 28, 2017
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Yes, marvelous. I highly recommend to develop trust with your child by monitoring everything they say and in doing so forcing them to find another avenue to communicate that you have literally no idea about.

Why not just give them an invite to a dark web chat portal (assuming such a thing exists).

When you were a child, would you have put up with that ****? Now imagine the same scenario with a child with more technological knowledge than most parents will every have and see what the result is.
 

Kaibelf

Suspended
Apr 29, 2009
2,445
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Silicon Valley, CA
I don’t like this idea at all. Kids should have a place to talk to theithem friends without constant surveillance.

Edit: under 13 years old, I guess. That would be fine

I disagree. If a parent wants to run their household that way, that's up to them. Kids with histories of issues or having trouble with bullies, etc. in particular. Is that "right to privacy" in the home worth another news story where a kid is dead because the parents didn't have any way to know what was really happening with their child? Until the kid pays the mortgage, they are subject to parents' intrusions.
 

Kaibelf

Suspended
Apr 29, 2009
2,445
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Silicon Valley, CA
Yes, marvelous. I highly recommend to develop trust with your child by monitoring everything they say and in doing so forcing them to find another avenue to communicate that you have literally no idea about.

Why not just give them an invite to a dark web chat portal (assuming such a thing exists).

When you were a child, would you have put up with that ****? Now imagine the same scenario with a child with more technological knowledge than most parents will every have and see what the result is.

Oh please. When people in their 40s were children you had to call your parents to tell them where you were, had to ask permission to go places, and if you were acting strange you bet your butt Mom and Dad would search your room and demand answers. It's called parenting.

My parents provided trust, within reason, but they also provided consequences as well as a clear chain of command in the home. It was a balance for which I am greatly appreciative because I didn't end up with any of the issues that the kids with the "cooler parents" ended up having.

Perhaps if people spent more time providing structure and guidance instead of trying to be their kids' friends all the time, we wouldn't have a lot of the behavioral and social problems we're dealing with these days. Also, it's the parents' JOB to get the knowledge they need to handle things, or ask for help.
 

Alonso Quijano

macrumors 6502
Jul 17, 2013
288
175
I disagree. If a parent wants to run their household that way, that's up to them. Kids with histories of issues or having trouble with bullies, etc. in particular. Is that "right to privacy" in the home worth another news story where a kid is dead because the parents didn't have any way to know what was really happening with their child? Until the kid pays the mortgage, they are subject to parents' intrusions.

Perhaps if you provided “structure and guidance” instead of spying on your kids they wouldn’t end up being bullies/kids with behavior issues.
 

ugahairydawgs

macrumors 68030
Jun 10, 2010
2,839
2,084
Perhaps if you provided “structure and guidance” instead of spying on your kids they wouldn’t end up being bullies/kids with behavior issues.

Yeah...because that's how it works with kids. Set them on the right path and they always follow. They never do stupid things that put them in bad situations ever with just a little good parenting.

o_O
 

Alonso Quijano

macrumors 6502
Jul 17, 2013
288
175
Yeah...because that's how it works with kids. Set them on the right path and they always follow. They never do stupid things that put them in bad situations ever with just a little good parenting.

o_O

Kids should be allowed to make their own mistakes, it’s how they grow up. You can guide and teach your children without being overbearing surveillance.
 

mollyc

macrumors 601
Aug 18, 2016
4,063
20,743
Just because you *can* monitor your kids doesn't mean you will. My daughter has an iPhone and her class has huge group texts. I don't read through them, there are way too many messages. But, I do have all her passwords, lock screen code, etc., so that if I notice something out of the ordinary in her behavior, that I can access whatever she might be seeing. At this point I have every reason to trust her, but she is still young. When she hits middle school and more independence, that is when the bullying, etc. starts.

It's no different than trusting your kid not to do drugs, but if you notice wacky behavior you start searching through their dresser drawers. Do you do it every day? No....but if the situation warrants it, then you go in and draw the hard line.
 

DipDog3

macrumors 65816
Sep 20, 2002
1,189
691
Perhaps if you provided “structure and guidance” instead of spying on your kids they wouldn’t end up being bullies/kids with behavior issues.

A parents job is to spy on their kids so they don't end up a bully/bullied, addicted to drugs, in jail, or dead.

Kids with these parents that only provide "guidance" are the problem. Those kids do drugs & "share" with their friends, bully other kids at school, steal from people/businesses, and end up doing stupid stuff that gets other kids hurt/killed. If all parents were up in their kids business, that wouldn't happen.
 

Alonso Quijano

macrumors 6502
Jul 17, 2013
288
175
A parents job is to spy on their kids so they don't end up a bully/bullied, addicted to drugs, in jail, or dead.

Kids with these parents that only provide "guidance" are the problem. Those kids do drugs & "share" with their friends, bully other kids at school, steal from people/businesses, and end up doing stupid stuff that gets other kids hurt/killed. If all parents were up in their kids business, that wouldn't happen.

My parents never spied on me, read my emails, my text messages, etc. and I don’t do drugs or bully anyone. Generalizing a bit, aren’t you?

I will fully encourage my children to use encrypted messaging to eliminate any possibly of me spying on them
 
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