Facebook Is Launching Messenger Kids To More Countries and Adding New Features
The internet giant company Facebook has announced that it is launching its Messenger Kids app in over 70 new countries. A help page on Facebook’s website lists Brazil, India, Japan, and New Zealand among the countries where the kid-focused messaging service is now available. Facebook also announced a number of tweaks it’s making to how the app works.
Along with the expanded availability, Facebook is adding new feature called Supervised Friending, which allows parents to control which contacts the child can add on the app. Parents can choose whether their kids have control over their contacts or not, and they can also override connections made by their children.
Another great feature is the ability for select adult users to create groups for kids to connect. The idea is that an adult, such as a teacher or coach, can help connect a group of kids that they’re teaching or training. With that in mind, parents can give permission for that adult to create group chats that include their child, so the these adults can connect groups of kids that practice certain activities together, as long as they have permission from parents. Both of these features are available first in the U.S. and rolling out gradually to other countries.
Parents will be notified when new contacts are added for their child and can manage the list of contacts and approved adults through the Parent Dashboard. Once connected through a group, kids will also be able to chat with each other individually.
The blog post read, “This is a powerful opportunity and teachable moment for parents to have a conversation with their kids about the life-long skill of choosing one’s friends, both face to face and online,” said Dr. Bernstein. “In addition to allowing parents more ways to manage their child’s messaging experience, Supervised Friending develops kids’ autonomy to decide who they do or don’t want to connect with, while parents can observe, provide guidance and step in as necessary.”
Messenger Kids will start rolling out in the new markets starting today. Meanwhile the new friend request and group functionality will be available in the US starting today, This feature will roll out to the rest of the world in the coming weeks.