E-learning proves that while curriculum can be adapted for the internet, the social aspects of going to school aren’t so easy to replicate. As many communities continue social distancing and opt out of travel plans, parents are turning to technology more than ever before to keep kids connected and Facebook is bridging the gap with Messenger Kids.
What is it?
Messenger Kids is a video chat and messaging app that helps kids connect with friends and family in a fun, parent controlled space. The kicker here is that the platform is made for kids and controlled by parents. Once you set up an account for your kid they can send video, photo and text messages using playful masks, emojis, sound effects and a library of kid-friendly gifs, frames and stickers.
How does it work?
Every child account on Messenger Kids must be set up by a parent and you can get it done in four easy steps:
Download: First, download the Messenger Kids app on your child’s device. Messenger Kids is available in the App Store and Google Play Store.
Authenticate: Then, authenticate your child’s device using your own Facebook username and password. This will notcreate a Facebook account for your child or give them access to your Facebook account.
Create an account: Finish the setup process by creating an account for your child, where you’ll provide their name and opt-in to any additional features.
Add contacts: To add people to your child’s contact list, go to the Messenger Kids Parent Dashboard panel in your main Facebook app. To get there, click on “More” on the bottom right corner in your main Facebook app, and click “Messenger Kids” in the Explore section.
Is it safe?
Parental control is at the heart of Messenger Kids. You can monitor and control your child’s activity in the app through the Parent Dashboard, which is accessible through your personal Facebook account. Through the Parent Dashboard, you can do all of the following:
Monitor recent contacts, chat history, and reported and blocked contacts: See who your child is chatting with and how frequently those conversations happened over the past 30 days. You’ll also see a list of the contacts your child has blocked and/or unblocked, if they have reported any messages as well as any contacts they’ve reported and the reason for their action. You will continue to be notified via Messenger if your child blocks or reports someone.
See a log of images and videos in chats: See the most recent photos and videos your child has sent and received in their inbox. If you believe an image or video is not appropriate for your child, you can remove it from your child’s message thread and report it.
Set Sleep Mode: You can limit the amount of time your child spends in the app by setting predetermined “off times” for the app on your child’s device. While Sleep Mode is active, your child will not be able to use the app.
EnableSupervised Friending:This feature enables you to choose to allow your kid to also accept, reject, add or remove contacts, while maintaining the ability to override any new contact approvals from the Parent Dashboard.
Remote Device Logout: See all devices where your child is logged in to Messenger Kids and log out of the app on any device through the Parent Dashboard.
Download your child’s information: Request a copy of your child’s Messenger Kids information, similar to how you can download your own information within the Facebook app. The download will include a list of your child’s contacts as well as the messages, images and videos they have sent and received. Your child will be notified through the Messenger Kids app when you request this information.
Messenger Kids is designed for children ages 6 to 12 and their parents. The platform fits seamlessly into your social media mix with Parent Dashboard accessible through your personal Facebook account. Plus, you control every aspect of your child’s experience in the app. Messenger Kids is changing the game for Gen Z and giving them an early, more controlled start to social media.