Canadian children can now download
Facebook Messenger Kids
Facebook has designed an app similar to the one that parents use daily, that lets children send messages and make video calls under their parents’ supervision. The app was released in the United States in 2017, but only became available in Canada on Friday.
There is a bit of controversy surrounding this release, as many parents don’t want their children given another reason to be on a screen, let alone a form of social media.
However, speaking from experience, if you have ever had the need to communicate with your child via hand held device, (especially if your family members use a mix of Apple and Android devices which don’t always talk well with each other), you may see the benefit of this app.
Here’s what you need to know about Messenger Kids.
What are the age restrictions?
According to Facebook, the app is designed for children aged six to 12. It allows kids to communicate online with friends and family without creating a Facebook account, which are only available for children aged 13 or older.
What are the parental controls?
Parents have complete control over their children’s contact lists and can decide you can and cannot communicate with them. Parents must also initiate all contact requests and kids’ messages cannot be hidden or deleted. Parent-approved adults can message kids through their regular Messenger app. Parents can also create on and off times for the app through a “Sleep Mode” function.
How much control do kids have?
While parents hold the reigns over their children’s accounts, kids have the power to block contacts and report bullying or other forms of inappropriate behaviour.
What sort of advertising is involved?
Unlike other Facebook apps, Messenger Kids is ad-free.
Which devices support the app?
The app is available on most Apple, Android and Amazon devices.
Any kid-friendly features?
The app is chockfull of kid-appropriate stickers, GIFs, masks and frames.