Facebook Messenger Kids App For Under-13s Coming To Android

Facebook on Monday announced its latest mobile app in the form of Messenger Kids, a communications service specifically designed for children under 13 years of age, i.e. the demographic that can't access the main Facebook platform as per its terms of use. Much like its name suggests, Messenger Kids is meant to be a revised version of the regular Messenger app that's been operating as a standalone offering for several years now. The new solution is currently in testing only on iOS but will become available on Android "in the coming months," Facebook said, adding that Messenger Kids will launch both on the Google Play Store and Amazon Appstore.

Messenger Kids was designed as a way for children to access Facebook's chatting service without actually owning a Facebook account, with parents being granted full control over their activity. Setting up an account for your child only requires you to provide their name, with the service allowing you to control their list of approved contacts through your main Facebook app. The solution itself appears to be a more streamlined version of Messenger that allows children to send text messages to friends and family members, make video calls, and do light photo editing. The latter functionality is mainly enabled with a selection of age-appropriate stickers, frames, and masks, while support for kid-friendly GIF animations is also part of the package. Parents looking to add or remove people from their children's approved contacts list can do so by tapping the "More" icon in their Facebook app and locate the "Messenger Kids" option in the "Explore" section of the following interface.

With the introduction of Messenger Kids, Facebook launched its third major take on the world's most popular chat app that presently boasts well over a billion of users and is also available in the form of Messenger Lite. Facebook is quick to point out that its first app for kids contains no ads or in-app purchases and doesn't use any information you provide it with to serve targeted advertising either to you or your child further down the road. The iOS preview is only available in the United States but the app's Android debut should be of the global variety once it happens in late winter or early spring.

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Dominik Bosnjak

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Dominik started at AndroidHeadlines in 2016 and is the Head Editor of the site today. He’s approaching his first full decade in the media industry, with his background being primarily in technology, gaming, and entertainment. These days, his focus is more on the political side of the tech game, as well as data privacy issues, with him looking at both of those through the prism of Android. Contact him at [email protected]
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