Science

Facebook launches messaging app for under 13s

Facebook launches messaging app for under 13s”

There has been criticism that the app was created to draw children in and groom them to eventually become regular Facebook users. A news release assures that the app is designed comply with the U.S. Children's Online Privacy and Protection Act.

In a collaboration with the National Parent Teacher Association on a study with more than 1,200 American parents of children under the age of 13, Facebook found three out of every five parents surveyed said their kids under 13 use messaging apps, social media or both, while 81 percent reported their children started using social media between the ages of 8 and 13.

On the other hand, Swartz says the app presents a teachable moment for parents to guide their children in the safe use of social media. In some ways it's akin to teaching a child how to use the household telephone landline in the past - it's a skill that you don't want them to run riot with but as a part of growing up it's an essential life lesson to learn.

"Adam Alter writes about this in Irresistible, and one of the first points he makes is numerous Silicon Valley giants - like Steve Jobs - allegedly didn't let their kids use the technologies they were inventing". Facebook asserts that the Facebook Messenger will have a controlled environment.

Retailers are also adopting Facebook Messenger as a form of communication, not just to sell but for things like shipping notifications.

Facebook is introducing the Facebook Messenger Kids on App Store soon.

In the future it's likely that we'll visit websites much less frequently if at all, we'll be able to use whatever platform we prefer to buy and receive order updates be that Messenger, Whatsapp, voice assistants such as Amazon Alexa or Google Home, or more likely platforms which don't even yet exist today.

Then, authenticate your child's device using your own Facebook username and password. They'll still have to build a traditional Facebook account from scratch when they're ready.

Finish the setup process by creating an account for your child, where all you'll need to do is provide their name. Simply put, Messenger Kids is a child-friendly, standalone Messenger app with strict parental controls, allowing kids to piggyback on their parent's account but without all the adult's privileges.

The new app - now a "preview" only available in the United States of America and on Apple's iOS - will allow the 6-12s to video chat and send photos, videos or text messages to friends approved by their parents.

She cited research that shows some 93 percent of USA kids ages six to 12 have access to tablets or smartphones - and 66 percent have their own device, often using apps meant for teens and adults.



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