In December, Facebook introduced a preview of Messenger Kids, a new app that makes it easier for kids to safely video chat and message with family and friends when they can’t be together in person.
The new app will give kids and parents a fun, safer solution, and a standalone app that lives on kids’ tablets or smartphones but can be controlled from a parent’s Facebook account. 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 will open up a new world of online communication to families.
At the moment, the new app is only available on the App Store for iPad, iPod touch and iPhone. Once the account is set up by a parent, kids can start a one-on-one or group video chat with parent-approved contacts. The home screen shows them at a glance who they are approved to talk to, and when those contacts are online. In addition to video chat, kids can send photos, videos or text messages to their parent-approved friends and adult relatives, who will receive the messages via their regular Messenger app. A library of kid-appropriate and specially chosen GIFs, frames, stickers, masks and drawing tools lets them decorate content and express their personalities. Parents fully control the contact list and kids can’t connect with contacts that their parent does not approve.
There are no ads in Messenger Kids and your child’s information isn’t used for ads. It is free to download and there are no in-app purchases. Messenger Kids is also designed to be compliant with the Children’s Online Privacy and Protection Act (COPPA).
This preview of Messenger Kids is only available in the US at this time on the Apple App Store, and will be coming to Amazon App Store and Google Play Store in the coming months.