Facebook debuts Messenger Kids in India with added parental controls


Facebook has launched Messenger Kids in India with additional parental controls so that it can get more children under the age of 13 on to the platform.The messaging app, launched originally in December 2017, is now available across 75 countries worldwide. 

The social media platform, which has over 400 million users in India making it the second biggest customer base after the United States, hopes to expand its reach considerably into the younger segment of children. The fact that this move comes barely a day after Facebook announced investments to the tune of Rs.43,574 crore in Reliance Jio platform isn’t lost as the latter offers affordable mobile phone subscriptions to the young as well. 

In addition to India, the Messenger Kids is also available in neighboring Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan. With the current update, Facebook has now provided parental controls to limit their child’s access on Messenger kinds in spite of the fact that the core philosophy behind the app is to allow children to expand their networks.

Supervised friending 

This is a new feature that replaces the current one where children cannot add any new contacts which is left to the parent’s prerogative. Now, children can issue and accept contact invitations directly though once they perform these actions, a notification goes to the parent that allows them to override the child’s decision. 

Parents would also get notified when the children join any groups though once approved they would be able to chat with each other individually and with adults moderating the group. 

Create easier connections

This feature allows parents to make the child’s name and photo visible only to a select group of non-contacts. Parents also have the option to make their child’s name and profile photo visible to friends of their kid’s contacts and their parents or children of the parent’s Facebook friends. 

The approved adult list

With this feature, the parent can determine which adults can add their children into groups. So, the focus would be allowing teachers to invite children to a virtual classroom or parents to invite other children into a workshop during the lockdown period. The feature works with both curricular and non-curricular activities where the parents can determine the trustworthiness of the contacts. 

Facebook said that these changes were based on inputs received from parents across the world and that the company would be continuing their efforts to make the platform safe for children below 13. 

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