Facebook is making Messenger Kids available to download in 70 more countries in an effort to provide children a way to connect with friends and family in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. The 13-and-under version of the social network’s messaging app allows parents to control their children’s activities and keep them safe from strangers on the website.
Since the app has to be safer than its regular counterpart — and to prevent any privacy issue — Facebook has also introduced three new opt-in ways to help parents connect kids with their friends. First is Supervised Friending, which gives parents the option to allow their kids to accept, reject, add or remove contacts. Parents are notified if their kids take any friending action, and they can easily override that decision through the Parent Dashboard.
They can now also give other adults the power to add their kids to group chats. That would make it easier for teachers or coaches, for instance, to start a conversation with their classes or teams. Both this feature and Supervised Friending have already started rolling out in the US and will be available worldwide in the future. Finally, parents in the US, Canada and Latin America can now choose to make their children’s name and photo visible to select users. Namely, their kids’ contacts and their parents, the children of their Facebook friends and the children of the people they invite to download the Messenger Kids app.