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Newsletter  Facebook  messenger 
yesterday by michimaurer
Facebook ‘Messenger Kids’ lets under-13s chat with whom parents approve • TechCrunch
Josh Constine:
<p>It’s important to understand that kids under 13 still can’t sign up for a Facebook account. Instead, parents download the Messenger Kids app to a child’s iPhone or iPad (Android coming soon). Once the parent has authenticated it with their own account, they set up a mini-profile with their kid’s name and photo. Then, using the Messenger Kids bookmark in the main Facebook app, parents can approve anyone who is friends with them as a contact for their kid, like aunts and uncles or godparents. Messenger Kids is interoperable with the main Messenger app, so adults don’t actually have to download the Kids app.

Kids still can’t be found through Facebook search, which protects their privacy. So if a child wants to be able to chat with one of their classmates, their parent must first friend that kid’s parent, and then will see the option to approve that adult’s child as a contact for their own kid. This is by far the most clumsy part of Messenger Kids, and something Facebook might be able to improve with a way for Messenger Kids to let children perhaps photograph a QR code on their playmate’s app to request that their parents connect…

…One thing that might surprise some people is that there’s no way for parents to secretly spy on what their kids are saying in their chats. Instead, parents have to ask to look at their kids’ screen, which Chung says is a more common behavior pattern. The exception is that if kids report a piece of objectionable content, their parents will be notified but still not shown the content in their own app.</p>

Facebook did a ton of research with parents (including those in the military) to find out the best approach here. It found that kids already had access to hardware: 93% of 6-12 years olds in the US had access to a tablet or smartphone, 66% had their own device, and 60% of parents surveyed said kids under 13 used messaging apps, social media or both.

But at its core, it's about getting people - even those under age - to use Facebook more. In the end, that's not working out well for adults already. Why should it be any better for children? If they want to call the grandparents, there's Skype or Facetime.
children  facebook  messenger 
7 days ago by charlesarthur

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