Facebook is giving parents an expanded control over how their kids use the Messenger Kids app by launching a sleep mode to the messaging platform purpose-built for children. The new feature is designed to let parents choose and designate a period of time during which the app will be turned off so that their kids won't be able to use it. Parents can access and control the sleep mode feature by going to the Parent Control center in their Facebook account and set a predetermined off time for Messenger Kids on their children's device.
Keep in mind that the sleep mode allows for designating different off times for weekdays more than on weekends in order to prevent children from gaining access to Messenger Kids during specific hours on those days. In order to start using the new feature, simply open the Messenger Kids controls in the core Facebook app and then select the child's name whose Messenger Kids account you want to switch off on certain hours. Then activate the sleep mode in the App Controls section. Once the feature is turned on, children won't be able to send or receive chat messages, make video calls, or receive notifications from their contacts. The Messenger Kids app will also display a message on the screen telling kids their app is in sleep mode once they attempt to open the app. The ability to set off hours for Messenger Kids complements the parents' wide control over the app, which already includes the ability to add or remove contacts, close the child's account, or set up a new account for their kids.
Launched last December, Messenger Kids is Facebook's communications tool for children under 13 years of age. It's worth noting that Messenger Kids only allows children to access Facebook's chatting solution without really owning a Facebook account, with the full control of the app being assigned to their parents. The app is a revised version of Messenger that lets kids send text messages to their contacts, make video calls, and make light edits to photos. Last February, Facebook also unveiled a modified Messenger app for kids called Messenger Kids – Safer Video Calls and Texting.