Facebook’s new Messenger app allows kids below 13 to use services

Facebook announces the launch of a new Messenger app meant for children under the age of 13, and packed with a bunch of privacy tools.

The app is called Messenger Kids, and only parents can download the application, as well as send and accept friend requests on their children’s behalf.

The only people who have the ability to see a child’s Messenger account are friends of their parents.

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“We’ve been working closely with the FTC so we’re lockstep with them. ‘This works’, they said” Facebook product management director Loren Cheng says. “In other apps, they can contact anyone they want or be contacted by anyone” Facebook’s head of Messenger David Marcus adds.

The app has special detection filters that prevents sending of nudity, sexual content, or violence. There’s also a dedicated team that responds to flagged content.

The platform will not be monetized, and the kids will get a fully functional Facebook account when they turn 15.

When you think about things at scale that we do to get people to care more about Messenger, this is one that addresses a real need for parents” say Facebook’s head of Messenger David Marcus. “But the side effect will be that they use Messenger more and create family groups.”