Facebook on Monday announced it would be rolling out a preview of Messenger Kids in the United States, a new parent-controlled app to make it easier for kids to video chat and message with loved ones. Messenger Kids is designed as a legal way for kids to participate.
Approved adults can also contact children through the app - although they will get their messages through the normal Facebook Messenger app.
Authenticate: Then, authenticate your child's device using your own Facebook username and password. Parents won't be able to spy on their kids' chats.
Facebook Messenger users took to Twitter to express their anger
While the Facebook technically only allows children aged 13 to create profiles, lax prevention methods has resulted in more than 20 million under under-13-year-olds using the network, according to Consumer Reports.
"There's really a gap in the market for a messaging app for kids that also gives parents control", Facebook spokeswoman Lauren Svensson said.
Kids will also have access to GIFs, stickers and other content Facebook said has been vetted to ensure it's appropriate for children. Loren Cheng, Facebook's product management director, said the company consulted with several groups including parents, experts in child development and children's media, in creating the app. Whether it's using video chat to talk to grandparents, staying in touch with cousins who live far away, or sending mom a decorated photo while she's working late to say hi, Messenger Kids opens up a new world of online communication to families. Parents fully control the contact list and kids can't connect with contacts that their parent does not approve. We will update this news article as soon as new updates are available regarding why Facebook chat system has gone offline.