Facebook Messenger for Kids to introduce new ‘befriending’ protocols

Facebook launched the Messenger Kids platform in 2017. As the name implies, the messaging app and platform enabled kids under 13 to use the messaging service with their first and last name – instead of using the mode of registering with phone numbers.

While the app gave children more freedom to use the social media network, it also gave parents more control as they could oversee their contacts. Additionally, the service was omitted from any type of in-app purchases so parents did not have to worry about the collection of unnecessary data from Facebook.

However, after the initial launch in the USA and a few scattered updates, Facebook failed to garner much recognition for its Messenger Kids service.

But just recently, reverse engineering expert Jane Manchun Wong shared a feature on her Twitter account that indicates Facebook’s effort towards the Messenger Kids portal.

According to the screenshots she shared, Facebook is testing a ‘friending mode’ for children. This feature would allow parents to accept/decline contact invitation on behalf of their kids. While the younger children would be dependent on their parents to accept/decline contact requests, older children would be able to add or remove contacts. However, parents will have the final say in this matter.

A representative from Facebook also confirmed Wong’s findings and said that the team is working on ways to provide parents more flexibility over their children’s accounts.

As of yet, the feature is under test mode and Facebook has not yet provided any details regarding its official release.

Facebook is the most popular social media channel with around 2.5 billion monthly active users. However, the social network has gradually failed to attract younger users after the launch of other platforms like TikTok, Snapchat, and Instagram.

Perhaps adding more functionalities to their Messenger for Kids, Facebook is giving one more attempt to revive the younger audience.

Facebook Messenger for Kids is available for free on both iOS and Android.

Read next: According to Parents, 12 to 15 Is the Appropriate Age Bracket for Kids to Have Smartphones (Survey)
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