As of the 4th December 2017, Facebook has announced that is has begun its rollout of its brand-new messenger application known as Messenger Kids. Based on the fully-fledged version of the massively popular Messenger app.
The reception has been mixed, with some people loving the idea as the app gives parents full control over the people their children are talking to whereas others are not so sure how the application will be monitored and made safe for children, the target range being those between the ages of 6 and 12 (a year below the official Facebook signup age).
To keep you informed, here’s everything you need to know about the new messenger app.
Known as Messenger Kids, the app is a standalone creation from Facebook that allows children to talk with their family and friends through their mobile devices. Facebook operates a rule where you cannot sign up for a full Facebook account before the age of 13, so no full account is necessary.
However, the setup must be carried out by parents who can download the app onto their child’s device, signed into using the parent's log-in details and then creating a simple messaging account for their child.
You can then add contacts using the parental control options, typically other children that have accounts with the people that you are friends with on your main account. Every step of the process is only accessible using the parent’s Facebook account, and you’ll have full control over the users and contacts connected with the app.
The Facebook for Kids free app came about after the realization that an increasing number of children have access to smartphones and tablets and will use them to communicate with their friends. However, this has obvious safety concerns as to how can you be sure your child is speaking to who they say they are.
Facebook’s aim is to provide a safe place for these children to communicate and have fun using video chat, filters and on-screen games and effects. It’s worth noting that there will be no platform or feature to advertise anything to children within the app.
The app is free to download on iOS devices and is currently not available on Android.
According to the official press release from Facebook, the app developers have heavily researched the concept to ensure that it’s perfect.
The development team have reportedly worked alongside a number of professional researchers in the areas of online safety, child development and children’s media experts to ensure that your children have a safe and entertaining experience.
Of course, the biggest advantage of the app is the parental controls. This is a feature where you can set up your child’s account and have full control over who that other account connects with. For example, your child could call up their grandparents using a video chat and speak for hours, which sounds lovely, as you’d imagine. They’ll also be able to connect with other children accounts.
Within the app, the children will also be able to have access to fun filters and video effects, designed specifically for the Facebook for Kids app, that brings a whole new element of entertainment to the software.
Likewise, your child can also send photos, videos and text messages to their recipients. In theory, this should lead children away from other communication platforms, such as WhatsApp and LINE where safety is a huge concern.
If you’re interested in using the Facebook for Kids free product, here’s what you need to do to get started;
Please note that Messenger Kids is only currently available for iOS devices.
Step #1. Firstly, head to the App Store on your child’s device and search ‘Messenger Kids’ and download and install like you would with any other app. Open the app once it has installed.
Step #2. Once open, you need to log into the app using your username and password that you would use for your own Facebook account. Please note that this process does not create a Facebook account for your child and does not give them access to your account.
Step #3. Now, set up your child’s account within the app. For this, you’ll need a name and picture (optional). This is all you need to set up, and your child can have the device to start chatting with their friends.
Step #4. To add and manage the contacts on the device, access your own Facebook account and click the ‘Messenger Kids Parental Control Panel’. You can access this from your desktop website or the app on your smartphone.
The problem with this Facebook Messenger App is that you still can’t be fully aware of everything that’s going on within the app. Of course, you’ll only be adding contacts that you trust but what if your child knows your password anyway, or you leave yourself signed it.
What if your account is hacked? Can you actually be sure of what messages, photos and videos are being sent from your child’s account and who they are actually speaking too? Safety is a key concern here which is why it’s highly recommended that you take a look at Spyzie.
Spyzie is a leading remote smartphone monitoring solution that can monitor every single message and file that is spoken in a Facebook for Kids conversation, sent directly to your control panel.
However, not only will the software do this, but it can also track all app downloads, track all web browser history and downloads, provides you with keylogging features and can track the smartphone or device’s real-time GPS location.
Spyzie works on all iOS devices and Android devices including brands like Samsung, Google Nexus, HTC, Sony, Lenovo, LG and Huawei.
If you would like to monitor facebook messages on Android phone, Spyzie could help you.
Step #1. Make your way over to the Spyzie website and create your Spyzie account. Follow the on-screen wizard to set up an account.
Step #2. Sign into Spyzie using your account details to start the install process. On the first page, you’ll need input your child’s name, their age and the mobile version that their phone is running.
Step #3. After creating your account, you need to access the target device once. Make sure you are able to download apps from Unknown Sources by visiting its Settings > Security.
Step #4. Now, launch any web browser on the device and go to Spyzie’s website to download the tracking app.
Step #5. Once you’re all set up, simply log into your account in your web browser or smartphone to access your control panel. Under the Social Apps setting on the left-hand side, you’ll find Facebook where you’ll be able to access all the information and message sent through the app.
As you can see, all the features are easily accessible by simply using the menu on the left-hand side. Feel free to explore each of features, in turn, to see what information you would like to be provided with.
You can access your control panel securely using any computer or smartphone you wish to sign into so you can make sure that your child is always safe using their smartphone device when they’re out and about and using the internet.