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But the app could prime kids to become lifelong Facebook users, and lock their families deeply into the platform where they’ll see ads.
“When you think about things at scale that we do to get people to care more about Messenger, this is one that addresses a real need for parents,” say Facebook’s head of Messenger David Marcus.
‘This works’, they said,” Facebook product management director Loren Cheng tells me.
“In other apps, they can contact anyone they want or be contacted by anyone,” Facebook’s head of Messenger David Marcus notes.
“But the side effect will be that they use Messenger more and create family groups.” Marcus tells me he’s excited about getting his 8-year-old into the family chat alongside his 14- and 17-year-old children.
It’s important to understand that kids under 13 still can’t sign up for a Facebook account.
When children open the Messenger Kids app, they’ll see a color-customizable home screen with big tiles representing their existing chat threads and approved contacts, with their last message and the last time they were online.Special proactive detection safety filters prevent children from sharing nudity, sexual content or violence, while a dedicated support team will respond quickly to reported or flagged content.