Facebook now for 6-year-old children
In my childhood, the playground was the source of all things fun. It was adventurous, exciting and where we would converge daily – come rain or shine.
Fast forward fifteen years later, the electric-charged and web-enabled conversations on Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram are the turf of the time.
In a world where parents cannot always keep on top of what their children are getting exposed to, an important question over social media has resurfaced. How young is too young for social media.
Nowadays 13-year-olds and over are allowed to use Facebook. But the prevention methods are trivial, meaning more than 20 million under-13-year-olds are thought to be using the network.
Facebook has launched its first app tailored for young users. It’s a ringfenced network that needs parental approval before use, and will not – the company has promised – be used to feed data for advertising.
Messenger Kids is a simplified, locked-down version of the messaging app Facebook today offers those over 13. So could this be like the playground once again, albeit still electric-charged and web-enabled?
“Parents are increasingly allowing their children to use tablets and smartphones, but often have questions and concerns about how their kids use them and which apps are appropriate,” said Loren Cheng, product manager for Messenger Kids.
“So when we heard about the need for better apps directly from parents during research and conversations with parents, we knew we needed to develop it alongside the people who were going to use it, as well as experts who could help guide our thinking.”
If two children want to be friends on Messenger Kids, that friendship has to be approved by a parent for each child. Once confirmed to be safe, friends can do live video chat and send pictures and text to each other.