Facebook announced that it had developed a messenger app aimed at children 13 and younger. This would allow a much younger demographic of users to interact and connect. The service would provide a more controlled environment for the activities that happen across smartphones and tablets. Facebook already has more than 2 billion users monthly, and its other apps like messenger, whatsapp, and Instagram have a billion users. But most of those users are adults. This new app would allow Facebook to connect to a new audience, one much younger than it is used to.
However there is a large possibility of backlash that may come with the new app. Parents are already complaining that their children spend too much time looking at screens, and this app would just increase that. But Facebook has assured us that a lot of work and research went into the development of this app. The company said it spoke to parenting groups, child behavioral experts, and safety organizations to develop a safe space where children can interact and connect. Messenger Kids is designed so that children don’t make Facebook accounts for themselves, since the terms of service require that the user be at least 13 years of age to sign up. The app requires an adult with a Facebook account to set up the account on Messenger Kids. The app asks the adult to set up the child’s profile and select which friends and family members they can communicate with. The parent must approve any additional friend requests. The app is fairly limited, it will allow for text, video chat, and sending photos. People will have their difference of opinion on this app, but the world is changing. Connections have become more digital whether you like it or not, and this seems like it can be a safe way to have your child connect with friends and family.
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