Facebook announced Monday they are going to allow young children onto their networks for the first time through a new kids-focused messaging app.
The social giant launched Messenger Kids, which is aimed at getting children younger than 13 into the Facebook world.
It’s similar to the current Messenger, but with far more parental controls and walls preventing regular Facebook users from seeing the accounts of kids using the new app. There are also no ads, and Facebook says they won’t have over data from Messenger Kids to advertisers.
There are other parent-level barriers to setting up a Messenger Kids account to try and alleviate concerns – it must be tied into a parent’s existing Facebook account, all friend requests must be approved through that parental account, and adults also have to be friends on Facebook before their kids can connect their Messenger apps.
Parents cannot read messages sent through the app without the child’s device, but they can report or block accounts and get notifications if their children get blocked or reported.
The app is available now for U. S. iPhone users.