Facebook rolls out child-friendly messenger for kids under 13


Only available on the iOS App Store in the US for now

Creating a new wave of customers, tech giant Facebook has introduced a new child-friendly app Messenger Kids, which is targeted at children under 13 and asks parents to give approval so that children can message, add filters and doodle on photos they send to one another.

The app is focussed on child privacy and designed to ‘neutralize’ child predator threats. “In other apps, they can contact anyone they want or be contacted by anyone,” Facebook’s head of Messenger David Marcus tells media.

But special proactive detection safety filters in this app will prevent children from sharing nudity, sexual content or violence, while a dedicated support team will respond quickly to reported or flagged content. Facebook even manually sifted Giphy to build a kid-friendly version of the GIF-sharing engine.

Kids under 13 still can’t sign up for a Facebook account. Instead, parents download the Messenger Kids app to a child’s iPhone or iPad. Once the parent has authenticated it with their own account, they set up a mini-profile with their kid’s name and photo.

“When you think about things at scale that we do to get people to care more about Messenger, this is one that addresses a real need for parents,” adds Marcus.

The app is for now only available on the iOS App Store in the US for the time being.