Facebook Launches Messaging App for Kids

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The free app is aimed at kids under 13, who can't yet have their own accounts under Facebook's rules, though they often do.

The Facebook Messenger Kids app is an app especially for the kids that they can use to chat with family and friends. The Messenger account must be set up by a parent, and parents will have to give approval for anyone trying to communicate with their children.

She cited research that shows some 93 percent of US kids ages six to 12 have access to tablets or smartphones - and 66 percent have their own device, often using apps meant for teens and adults.

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In a company blog post, Antigone Davis - public policy director and global head of safety at Facebook - wrote that the media site has been working on the product for the past 18 months, working closely with leading child development experts, parents and educators.

Messenger Kids allows children to talk, send photos, videos and text messages to friends who are approved by their parents and adult relatives.

Messenger Kids, meanwhile, "is a result of seeing what kids like", which is images, emoji and the like.

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Facebook has promised the data will not be used in any way to power the "grown up" Facebook.

The move seems created to lure kids to the app before they try Facebook rival Snapchat, which is popular with teens.

Hundreds of users were left clueless when they found their favourite social network messenger/chatting service, Facebook messenger down due to a worldwide outage. Facebook also said it won't automatically move users to the regular Messenger or Facebook when they get old enough, though the company might give them the option to move contacts to Messenger down the line.

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Davis named some reasons Facebook made a decision to create Messenger Kids and why they chose to create it right now.

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