How to Enroll Your Child in Facebook’s New Messenger Kids App

Facebook today introduced Messenger Kids , a new version of Messenger just for kids designed for children under 13 who are not old enough to have their own Facebook account, but still want to connect with friends and family on the social network.

The parent-controlled app allows mom and dad to decide who their child can have on their contact list. After adding a contact such as a child’s best friend, aunt or cousin, they can freely communicate with that person using the service. There are even kid-friendly gifs, masks and stickers they can use. It’s similar to regular Messenger, but in an age-appropriate version. And approved adults can communicate with the child in a regular messenger.

Conversations are constantly monitored by artificial intelligence to ensure that inappropriate content or language is not transmitted, and if one party gets upset about the conversation, all parents are notified when someone in the convoy is blocked or communicated to others.

But children cannot register on their own. While the app works like its own version of Messenger, the kids ‘accounts are actually nested within their parents’ accounts. So, little Andy’s parents have to download the app on his iPad and then log in with their account to create an app for him.

Here’s a step-by-step guide from Facebook on how to do it. The app is currently being tested on iOS only, but it will be available for Kindle Fire and Android devices in the coming months:

  1. Download: First download the Messenger Kids app on your child’s iPad, iPod touch or iPhone from the App Store.
  2. Authentication: Then authenticate your child’s device using your own Facebook username and password. This will not create a Facebook account for your child or give them access to your Facebook account.
  3. Create an account: Complete the setup process by creating an account for your child, where all you have to do is provide their name. The device can then be handed over to your child so that they can start conversations with family and friends you approve of.
  4. Adding contacts: To add people to your child’s approved contacts list, go to the Messenger Kids parental control panel in the main Facebook app. To get there, click More in the lower right corner of the main Facebook app and click Messenger Kids in the Browse section.


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