Conflicting Parent’s Running Thoughts About Facebook’s Messenger Kids
On Monday, Facebook launched Messenger Kids , a version of Messenger for toddlers. Here are my current thoughts:
- Facebook for kids? God no!
- Okay, this isn’t exactly Facebook for kids. It’s just a messaging app. There are no profiles or anything. There is no searchable database of Messenger Kids users. No ads or in-app purchases. Parents can control their children’s contact list. It actually looks pretty naked, which is promising.
- It is also designed to comply with the Children’s Online Privacy and Protection Act ( COPPA) . Here’s a checkmark.
- However, it is operated by Facebook, a company that knows an alarming amount of details about us and strives to keep users addicted . Passing our children over to Tsuka’s car is alarming to say the least.
- In addition, it is designed for children between the ages of six and 12. SIX! It’s too young for a messaging app … isn’t it? What will even children talk about? How are they so annoyed that their mom made them eat broccoli and green beans tonight?
- But I suppose that for older kids – say, ages 9 to 12 – it would be nice to have a secure messaging app, as popular apps like Snapchat and Kik Messenger are n’t child-friendly at all. These kids without smartphones or landlines often need a way to chat with their friends when they can’t meet face to face (without using our phones).
- Wait, but in order for the kids to be able to chat with their friends on Messenger Kids, parents need to add each other on Facebook. So I need to be Facebook friends with the parents of all my child’s friends ?! Eh, I don’t mind.
- I really love that kids can chat with their grandparents, who are probably always on Facebook.
- The kids are really going to dig up the kitty masks and stickers.
- Is Messenger Kids really that scary? People refer to it as a jumble of kids’ YouTube content . However, this product seems to be well researched (Facebook has been conducting parenting focus groups for the past 18 months and consults with leading child development experts ). I think that parents are more afraid of his potential than he is now, and I can understand that.
- I mean there are potential dangers. In theory, kids could create a fake Facebook account and add contacts not allowed by their parents.
- Recode says Facebook has a team of about 100 people working on products for kids and teens . This Messenger Kids thing seems like just the beginning – the company’s bold first bet on new social networking opportunities for kids. What will happen next?
- I feel a contradiction.
- And slight dizziness.
- How to become an Amish?
- I have no doubt that children will love this service. This is communication with friends – with stickers! I think I’m worried it will be too much fun, too early. And there can be no turning back.