The app offers a simplified version of the standard Messenger, requiring explicit parental approval and excluding some features. Rolled out in the USA for the moment, Messenger Kids is a stand-alone app that will be available on kids' tablets or smartphones but can be controlled from a parent's Facebook account.
Jenny Radesky, a paediatrics professor at the University of MI, told the Wall Street Journal: "In my research, clinical work and friendships, I've never heard parents say that they want their child using social media earlier". Davis said that if a parent decides to delete a child's account, Facebook will also delete any data from its own servers.
"Why should parents simply trust that Facebook is acting in the best interest of kids?"
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If a parent deletes a Messenger Kids account, Facebook will also erase the data they collect, but the company notes that messages and content sent to users before the deletion may remain visible. Facebook's safeguards have made it more hard for strangers to contact a child, they said.
Joining the chorus against a messaging app exclusively for kids from Facebook, British Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has warned the social media giant to stay away from his children. But that safety depends on the fact that kids won't know their parents' Facebook passwords.
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She's anxious that introducing a Facebook product to young kids is only going to make them want to use the main Facebook product, as well as other apps like this. A recent study from Common Sense Media found that parents are more skeptical of the benefits of social media for their children then they are of smartphones or even wearable devices.
The new application aims to provide kids with a safe way to video call or message friends and loved ones whenever and wherever they want.
It's an early version of the app with limited availability.
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