Facebook Launches Messenger Kids in Dozens More Countries, Makes it Easier for Parents to Connect Kids With Friends

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Facebook has announced the launch of Messenger Kids in over 70 more countries as well as several new features for parents to help their children connect with friends and family during the global health crisis.


The new features include Supervised Friending, which gives parents the option to allow their kids to accept, reject, add or remove contacts.

When a child takes a friending action, parents will be notified through Messenger and can override any new connections made by going to the Parent Dashboard, where they will also be able to see a log of recent activities.

Facebook is also letting parents approve other adults to connect their child with other children through group chats in the Messenger Kids app. Facebook likens the feature to how a teacher might "help their child navigate classroom or team friendships" in the real world.

Lastly, parents in the U.S., Canada and Latin America can now make their children's name and photo visible to certain users.


Facebook originally launched Messenger Kids in the United States in December 2017, aimed at kids under the age of 13. The app has arrived in a handful of additional countries since then, but today's announcement is its broadest rollout by far.

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 is available on the iOS App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Article Link: Facebook Launches Messenger Kids in Dozens More Countries, Makes it Easier for Parents to Connect Kids With Friends
 

julesme

macrumors 6502
Oct 14, 2016
278
832
San Jose
I agree this is disturbing, but at the same time, we can’t stop the forward march of technology. Hopefully we can try to understand and monitor/manage the consequences.
 

phenste

macrumors regular
Sep 16, 2012
105
421
Stop giving your kids cellphones. Holy crap. We survived without it—and I was born in '94. They can too. Wait for them to reach puberty before giving them one.
I felt so lucky to even hold my dad’s original iPhone when I was younger with the revolutionary product it was, and I ended up being gifted his 3G when he switched back to the original on account of liking the grip better…in hindsight, my brother and I feel like lab rats for a generation of kids with the unregulated Internet just kind of thrown at them. (Still acutely aware of my luck in always having the “premium” brand of smartphone, but I digress.)

Talk to kids about the Internet. Not in the “there are strangers, you could get kidnapped!” kind of way (obviously still a good convo to have, but)—in the “there are extremely large corporations like Facebook that literally use your personal information as currency” kind of way. Teach them that privacy is #1; teach them that it’s not about suppressing their independence, it’s about letting their frontal lobe literally grow to the point where they can even begin to conceptualize and make certain decisions. Let them use a moderated family computer. THEN, as you said, when they reach puberty, the possibility of getting a phone can come about.
 
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Le Big Mac

macrumors 68030
Jan 7, 2003
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phenste

macrumors regular
Sep 16, 2012
105
421
I agree this is disturbing, but at the same time, we can’t stop the forward march of technology. Hopefully we can try to understand and monitor/manage the consequences.
This is not a step forward. This is a step backward. I will NOT let my [future] children’s internet usage be monitored/moderated by Facebook in ANY way. If they’re anything like me, once an iota of knowledge about their practices has really set in, they’ll never get on it. (Of course, it could have a total rebound effect and they could get on FB the day they can and post literally every bit of their personal info on it. What do I know. I‘ve survived without Facebook for years as a young adult though and I’m happier without it. Same with every friend of mine that’s gotten rid of it.)
 
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miniroll32

macrumors 65816
Mar 28, 2010
1,469
2,998
What they really mean is, getting more users into Facebook from a younger age. Thereby increasing their business at the expense of increasing social problems in the real world.

Children are too young to worry about who 'adds' them or vice-versa. And as for connecting with their family more, their parents could literally take them to see other family members? God help they may have to not look at a screen for a bit...

Thanks; no thanks.
 

aaadktda

macrumors member
Sep 14, 2019
49
99
Stop giving your kids cellphones. Holy crap. We survived without it—and I was born in '94.
You "survived" without it because almost nobody else got cellphones for their children and it was a leveled playing field in this regard. A few hundred years ago people survived and thrived in their communities without having electricity, a vehicle or access to public transport and access to education. That's because nobody had any of these things. Now you are screwed without them.

Instead of flat out rejecting to get children a cellphone, I think parents should teach them about the benefits and pitfalls of access to technology and information.

I remember that when I was in high school I was one of the last (maybe the last) kids to get a cellphone. I misses out on a lot of things. Cellphones were the new cool thing and those who had them used them a lot to communicate and form bonds and those who did not were left out of the loop. Not on purpose.

Same happened when dial up internet became widespread. A great part of the conversation and bonding moved to mIRC, yahoo messenger and other platforms.

Facebook sucks donkey testicles but prohibiting your children from using it might affect the relationship that your child has with friends and schoolmates.
 

rgbrock1

macrumors 6502
Feb 1, 2016
316
480
SC
I felt so lucky to even hold my dad’s original iPhone when I was younger with the revolutionary product it was, and I ended up being gifted his 3G when he switched back to the original on account of liking the grip better…in hindsight, my brother and I feel like lab rats for a generation of kids with the unregulated Internet just kind of thrown at them. (Still acutely aware of my luck in always having the “premium” brand of smartphone, but I digress.)

Talk to kids about the Internet. Not in the “there are strangers, you could get kidnapped!” kind of way (obviously still a good convo to have, but)—in the “there are extremely large corporations like Facebook that literally use your personal information as currency” kind of way. Teach them that privacy is #1; teach them that it’s not about suppressing their independence, it’s about letting their frontal lobe literally grow to the point where they can even begin to conceptualize and make certain decisions. Let them use a moderated family computer. THEN, as you said, when they reach puberty, the possibility of getting a phone can come about.
So you're basically advocating teaching kids HOW to think and not WHAT to think.
Gasp. Sacre bleu. Off with your head.
 
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ericg301

macrumors 65816
Jun 15, 2010
1,418
940
i have been against this, but since lockdown, it's been the only way my daughter has kept in touch with her friends (4th grade). the messenger app is on her ipad and we have granular controls over it.
 
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