Today, Facebook released a brand new feature for the 13-and-under crowd. Technically, kids under age 13 can’t create Facebook accounts. But in an acknowledgement that they’re sneaking on the platform anyway, Facebook has made it a point to make it safer, and is stirring debate in the process.
The feature is an app called Messenger Kids. Your child doesn’t need a Facebook account or a phone number to download the app; parents can download it on their child’s tablet or phone, create a profile (to be absolutely clear, this is separate from a Facebook profile), and approve family and friends for their child to chat with. Messenger Kids allows kids to communicate with parent-approved members of the regular Messenger App, making it easier to chat with, say, a grandparent who is already on Facebook.
The place where people are voicing both their interest and concern in the app? Facebook, of course. Above all, not everyone is sold on its necessity.
“I can see it now: Kids in their rooms will be messaging their parents down stairs on the couch thus increasing the divide within families and family socializing. Society is doomed!”
“Um yeah, I don’t think so. My child doesn’t need to be accessing any social media, regardless of its intentions to ‘neutralize’ child predators. You want your kid to ‘chat’ with someone?…