Facebook has a brand new Messenger onto the Play Store aimed specifically at giving younger users a platform for chatting with friends and family, while still providing parents with some oversight and peace of mind. With that said, Messenger Kids – Safer Video Calls and Texting is bound to make at least some of its intended audience less than happy due to the latter of those features. That may, in fact, be the reason behind its current one-star review – which is based on a single rating. Bearing that in mind, it could also open up the opportunity to get involved with Facebook's messaging application for kids who previously weren't allowed to use these types of apps by their parents.
For all intents and purposes, the Messenger Kids works just like the more general audience version of the app. However, it doesn't require a full Facebook account to use and has a couple of tweaks to make it more appropriate for underage users. First, it includes sticker packs, emoji, GIFs, and frames designed specifically with children in mind, rather than providing full access to all of those included with the other app. Videos and camera features include their own masks and add-ons, as well. Meanwhile, parents who create their child's Messenger account have the ability to audit the contacts list and conversations via the full Messenger app. The full Messenger app is also used to create the account to be used with Messenger Kids. Messages sent via the app can't be deleted or hidden, so parents can keep a watchful eye on their children's activity. Beyond that, kids will also be able to report users or block them, just as they would be able to with the full variation of the application. Parents will receive notifications of those actions, alerting them to possible problems with the contacts they had approved for their child to interact with.
It bears repeating that it is certainly true that the big-brother aspects of Messenger Kids are going to be a major peeve to some younger users. Of course, parents are probably expecting that kind of response. However, this does seem to be a great way to introduce a new generation to the opportunities available via Facebook's social media platform. Anybody interested in checking it out for themselves can hit the Google Play Store button below.