Facebook even manually sifted Giphy to build a kid-friendly version of the GIF-sharing engine.
And with childish augmented reality masks and stickers, video calls with grandma could be a lot more fun and a lot less silent or awkward.
For the first time, Facebook is opening up to children under age 13 with a privacy-focused app designed to neutralize child predator threats that plague youth-focused competitors like Snapchat. S., “Messenger Kids” lets parents download the app on their child’s phone or tablet, create a profile for them and approve friends and family with whom they can text and video chat from the main Messenger app.
“We’ve been working closely with the FTC so we’re lockstep with them.
‘This works’, they said,” Facebook product management director Loren Cheng tells me.
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.
When children turn 13, they won’t instantly have their Messenger Kids profiles turned into real Facebook profiles, nor will they get kicked off Messenger Kids.
They’ll still have to build a traditional Facebook account from scratch when they’re ready.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.When children open the Messenger Kids app, they’ll see a color-customizable home screen with big tiles representing their existing chat threads and approved contacts, with their last message and the last time they were online.From there, kids can dive instantly into a video chat or text thread with their contacts.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.