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Facebook Launches Messaging App for Kids
06 December 2017, 12:41 | Harold Aguilar
Is Facebook Messenger down? Multiple reports indicate mass outage this Tuesday
The app which will allow children to message and share videos with friends has apparently been approved by the regulatory bodies in the United States and it will only be available in the USA as Facebook say the app is still being developed. Parents with Facebook accounts must approve every new contact their kids add in the app, and they have the ability to block already-approved contacts from being shown to their kids. Whether it's using video chat to talk to grandparents, staying in touch with cousins who live far away, or sending mom a decorated photo while she's working late to say hi, Messenger Kids opens up a new world of online communication to families.
You won't need an official Facebook account to use the app but a profile will have to set up by a parent or guardian using their own account.
Per Facebook's Product Management Director, Loren Cheng, the app has been launched after productive discussions with over thousands of parents, associations like National PTA and Blue Star Families as well as advisors in the field of child development, online safety and children's media and technology.
As under the federal law, users under the age of 13 legally can not sign-in and open a Facebook account or use it.
However, even as Facebook was rolling out the kiddie chat app, the adult version of Facebook Messenger went down briefly, and as usual users were panicky and took to Twitter to air their grievances.
The firm said it offered a more appropriate app, which parents could allow their children to use on tablets and smartphones.
"Also, not all parents will have the confidence and knowledge to manage this app safely".
I love the idea of a kid-centered app that is tethered to my Facebook account.
Others want broader transparency on the various privacy issues that arise from the launch of this app. Facebook's blogpost on Monday was carefully crafted to alleviate various anticipated worries, and name-dropping experts and agencies that deal with protection of children is a key part of its marketing strategy here. Children can start one-on-one contacts with parent-approved contacts. "Messenger Kids is also created to be compliant with the Children's Online Privacy and Protection Act (COPPA)", Facebook said.
"We need to prepare our children for the day when we're not there and we do that gradually giving them more and more responsibility as they get older and we do it by talking about them and by spending time with them - putting those boundaries in place". "People said that it would be ideal for Facebook to clarify their policies from the beginning so that it would be perfectly clear what parents are signing up for".
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Office meteorologist Charles Powell also warned temperatures could drop even lower than last week as northerly gales blast the UK. Saturday will be cold and mainly dry with sunny spells and again temperatures will struggle to rise about 3-6 degrees Celsius.