Messenger Kids is an application that has been created by Facebook, specifically for kids who are aged nine to eleven years. The idea stemmed from the need to create a social media platform where both children and parents can be comfortable.
While adults use Facebook Messenger, Messenger Kids is its rebooted and safer version for young users. The app comes with kid-friendly stickers, GIFs, emojis, video calling, on screenwriting and much more. Today, the world is centered on the internet. It is only normal for kids to equally satisfy their hunger for information on the World Wide Web.
As such, safer measures such as Messenger Kids make it possible for children to use the internet within the appropriate limit(s). This messenger works on iOS and Android devices but does not require a Facebook account. This makes sense because kids may not necessarily be able to handle a full-on, active, social media account. It does not matter whether your child wants to talk to their grandparent or cousin; this app will always come in handy.
The Basics of Messenger Kids
This app makes it possible to start group video chats with contacts that you approve for your child. Appropriate photos, videos or pictures can be sent across devices. Just like any other application, Messenger Kids comes with its most important basics and they include:
Great Parental Controls
This messenger is a win-win for all parents as it comes with an exceptional number of easy to use parental controls. According to research, at least 50% of kids aged between nine and eleven years have their own social media account. Therefore, Messenger Kids acts as an important tool that enables parents to keep tabs on their kids without violating their ‘privacy”.
As a parent, you will obviously want to be hands on with your child’s activities on the app, and this one does not let down. There is a parental control that helps in controlling the application. You can create an account, block, report, add contacts and delete the account if you want to. This makes the overall management of the app easy.
Does not Delete Message History
This is another advantage of using Messenger Kids. All of the conversations that are had will be saved permanently. Therefore, it is easy for parents to find out what their kids are engaging in and approve their subjects of discussion.
Provides a Training Ground for Adult Apps
Parents who are looking for a safe way to prepare their children for other social platforms will find this messenger highly advantageous. It is an interim step between texting and an unmonitored social media experience. However, this app is not for parents who do not want their kids to have an early social media experience.
Messenger Kids is 100% safe for your child. It does not come with any adverts and your child’s information will also not be used for adverts. The app is available for free and does not come with any in-app purchases that may be concerning for parents.
Updated Parental Controls
In early February 2020, Facebook announced new tools for Messenger Kids. The changes come just a little over two years since the app’s launch in late 2017.
With the additional tools, parents now have more control over their kids’ activity on the platform. The new features are accessible from the dashboard once you log into the app with your iOS or Android device. In addition to the previously existing parental controls, the app now allows parents to:
Look Up Recent Contacts
If you are the kind of parent who likes to stay in the loop when it comes to who your child is socializing with, then this feature will come in handy. It is now possible to request a report on recent contacts and message history. It lists details such as who your child has been chatting with, whether it was through video messaging or text chats, and how often such conversations happened within the last one month.
Retrieve Image Logs from Chats
Imagine being able to get a log of the most recent images and video clips from your child’s Messenger account without having to go through each message in the inbox. Well, this is one of the new time-saving features that parents now have at their disposal. As a result, you can conveniently check for any inappropriate images or videos on your child’s account and remove or report such content with ease.
Logout from Other Devices Remotely
Initially, Facebook rolled out sleep mode for the kids’ version of Messenger, which allows parents to control when young ones can use the app. Another similar feature that’s now been added is the remote device logout. From the parent dashboard, you will be able to see all devices your child is using to access Messenger. You can use this same feature to log out of any gadget remotely. For instance, you may want to do that if there is a device that your child no longer uses.
Check a Child’s List of Reported or Blocked Contacts
Kids can block and report contacts freely when using this app. Parents are now able to get notifications of such actions or gain access to the block list. It’s a great feature for parenting because you can sit down your child to find out why he/she blocked a particular contact and whether any differences can be ironed out. Such discussions can serve as teaching moments.
Although the app is designed to run on iOS and Android devices by default, you can install Messenger Kids for PC with an emulator. As a results, your kids can use the app with other parental control software running on a home computer.