Facebook Messenger Kids, the standalone children’s messenger app that comes with safety and parental controls by default is launching in over 70 countries from today according to a blog post by Facebook. The app was launched back in 2017 in the United States but is now being rolled out on a more global scale. That said, they are providing new updates for the US version while the current version will be rolled out to 70 other destinations.
The app enjoyed the support of parents and regulatory bodies until 2019 when it suffered a major bug that allowed unapproved third-party into group chats. “We recently notified some parents of messenger Kids account users about a technical error that we detected affecting a small number of group chats. “We turned off the affected chats and provided parents with additional resources on Messenger Kids and online safety.” That said, Facebook fixed that and gave parents a bigger control over what their kids activities within the app.
For users in the United States, here are the new features you can expect,
- Supervised Friending
- Easier connections with other kids through Groups. This allows a parent to choose to make their kid’s profile visible to others that are not in the same group as them with the intention of discovering new friends that may be helpful to them.
- Approved adults is a feature that allows parents to add an adult individual who can add their kids to groups. A good example would be entrusting a child’s teacher to add them to a group.
One of the safety features put in place before now was that kids would have notify their parents/guardians to add new contacts as the feature was removed for them. But now they can send and accept new contact by themselves even though the approved adult would still get a notification and can choose to allow or override it. In any case, it just allows the child a small choice in choosing friends.
Parents have told us they want to be able to give their kids more independence in managing their contact list while still maintaining parental supervision. Previously, it was up to parents to invite and approve every contact for their child. Now with Supervised Friending, parents can choose to allow their kids to also accept, reject, add or remove contacts, while maintaining the ability to override any new contact approvals from the Parent Dashboard. Supervised Friending will start rolling out today in the US and will gradually roll out to the rest of the world.
As noted by Facebook, the app will be rolled out to more than 70 nations with more on the way which means Facebook is finally making the service a global one. There are now over 1.4 million Messenger Kids in the US and Canada. You can expect that number to grow as the service launches globally from today.