Facebook extends Messenger Kids to 70 countries

Date:23 April 2020 Author: Adrian Brown

On Wednesday [22 April] Facebook extended it’s Messenger Kids application to 70 new counties. The company hopes it will assist children with distance learning during lockdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

“With schools closed and people physically distancing, parents are turning to technology more than ever to help their kids connect with friends and family. Messenger Kids is a video chat and messaging app that helps kids connect with friends and family in a fun, parent-controlled space,” said Facebook’s Antigone Davis, Global Head of Safety in a statement.

The app is geared towards kids under 13. It was launched in 2017, in the United States.

Among the new features is “supervised friending” which gives children more independence in deciding on their friend list while still ensuring that parents can keep an eye on them. In the past, the app only allowed parents to approve connections for their children.

“When a kid takes a friending action, parents will be notified through Messenger and can override any new connections made by going to the Parent Dashboard, where they will also be able to see a log of recent activities,” said Davis.

“Parental control is at the heart of Messenger Kids. Parents manage who their kid interacts with and can monitor their child’s activity in the app through the Parent Dashboard, where they can also download their child’s information at any time.”

Many have opposed the app, claiming that there is an issue regarding privacy. The worry is that the app will draw children online and gather information and data about them. Facebook has responded to these concerns saying that the app ensures parents are able to supervise where as they would not be able to should their children make use of the standard messenger app.

South Africa is not on the list of 70 countries where the app is being made available. However, Facebook said that more counties will be added soon.

Image: Pexels

Latest Issue :

May-June 2022