Facebook's New Messaging App Hopes to Reach Kids as Young as 6

The home menu allows a glance of all available contacts for chat. Image Facebook

Right now, you can only do that in a feature-crippled Messenger Kids app available as a preview on U.S. iPads, iPhones and iPod Touches, but a Google Play and Amazon App Store expansion will definitely happen "in the coming months", and the general concept might be something worth exploring for the larger Facebook platform as well. "They want a level of control over their kids' digital world that is similar to the level they have in the real world", says Facebook's public policy director Antigone Davis. Facebook Messenger Kids requires parents to set up an account and approve their children's contacts.

Major tech firms have recently released more products that allow children to engage within the limits of the privacy law - and that reach more of the country's approximately 50 million children under the age of 13 in the process.

Facebook is rolling out a new app, Messenger Kids.

All told, Messenger Kids could be a helpful tool for parents to stay in touch with their kids.

At the same time, Facebook is promising not to sell ads into the Messenger Kids stream nor to automatically move the kids onto Facebook when they are eligible.

Kids will be able to send photos, videos or other messages to relatives or other contacts accessible through the primary Messenger app, and vice versa. It's launching Monday in the US, initially on Apple devices.

In October, Amazon announced that it would allow teenagers (13 to 17 years old) to shop using separate logins that are attached to their parents' accounts. The app has kids friendly masks, frames, stickers and GIFs for interactive conversations.

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When it comes to ads, Facebook said it will also not use data from Messenger Kids for Facebook ads.

To ensure that the app does not meddle in any controversy, consent of a parent is important before registering for the app or adding new contacts. We'll let you know when that Android version eventually launches, but for now, head down to the comments section and give us your take on Messenger Kids. Millions of parents are part of Messenger community and they asked us for controllable solutions that let them message with their children.

She said, "For a child who is just now starting out in social media to have certain restrictions and parental guidance, that is important".

Kristelle Lavallee, a children's psychology expert and content strategist at the Center on Media and Child Health at Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard University, worked with Facebook to develop the app.

YouTube has recently received criticism over concerns with its Kids app, which features videos tailored toward children.

It's "The Social Network" meets "Sesame Street".

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