Facebook Messenger Kids was launched in the US back in 2017 and now it has been extended for India and with the help of this, parents will be able to monitor every activity of their children.
Social networking site Facebook has launched video messaging and messaging app Facebook Messenger Kids in total 75 countries including India. Now parents will have more control over the children’s account. The specialty of this app is that after downloading, children will be able to create their account, not their own. Let us know that Facebook Messenger Kids was launched in the US in the year 2017. At the same time, it has been made available in other countries as well.
Facebook Messenger Kids can be downloaded for free from Google Play and iOS App Store. The company behind the launch of this app aims to connect children with their friends and that too under the supervision of their parents. COVID-19 is undergoing a nationwide lockdown in India.
In such a situation, schools, colleges, and offices are closed everywhere. This time is really difficult for the children because neither can they go out to play outside the house nor meet friends. In such a situation, Facebook Messenger Kids can become a great partner. With the help of this app, children will be able to video chat with their friends.
Facebook has said in its statement that ‘schools are closed due to COVID-19 and people are following social distancing. Parents are using technology to help their children connect with friends and family. Along with this, parents also want to control children on online platforms.
Once the Messenger Kids app is set up on the phone/tablet, children can share Playful masks, emojis, and sound effects withing messages. Facebook has a dedicated library of kid-appropriate and specially chosen GIFs, frames, stickers, masks and drawing tools lets them decorate content and express their personalities.
The Facebook Messenger Kids app has a special feature called Supervised Friending. With the help of this feature, parents will be able to ensure that they have to add to their children’s friend list and to whom not. Apart from this, parents will also get notifications of friend requests coming to children on the dashboard. Not only this, but parents can also give rights to their teachers to add children to school and class groups in this app.
India Sharpens Focus To Keep Children Safe Online
As per the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), more than 175K children go online for the first time on an average every day. The report highlights that almost 80% of the 18-year-olds believe that children and adolescents are in danger of being sexually abused or taken advantage of online.
“What happens in the online world is a reflection of society at large. Violence, exploitation, and abuse children might face in their homes, schools, and communities are mirrored by the violence they may face online,” the report adds.
Even the Indian government has been implementing steps to keep children safe online. In December 2019, the Indian government formed a panel of Members of Parliament, headed by Rajya Sabha chairman Venkaiah Naidu formed, to prevent exploitation of children online and recommend possible legislative provisions to address the same.
The panel recommended a dedicated mechanism to deal with online sexual crimes on children, in January 2020. It also demanded that the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act should include the act of “advocating or counseling sexual activity” to a minor as an offense.
Here’s how to get started with Facebook Messenger Kids:
The Messenger Kids app can be installed on your child’s iPad, iPod touch, or iPhone via Apple App Store and as far as the Android phones and tablets.
- Firstly, parents are advised to authenticate their child’s device using their own Facebook username and password. [Note: This will neither create a Facebook account for your child nor give them access to your Facebook account].
- Create the Messenger app account and finish the setup process by providing the child name and opt-in to any additional features. The device can then be handed over to the child so they can start chatting with family and friends.
- You can add contacts, who the child can communicate. To add people to your child’s contact list, go to the Messenger Kids Parent Dashboard panel in your main Facebook app. To get there, click on “More” on the bottom right corner in your main Facebook app, and click “Messenger Kids” in the Explore section.