Good news for parents! Messenger Kids is now in the Philippines. Facebook recently announced it and I got to join the media briefing conducted by Facebook.
What is Messenger Kids?
Messenger Kids is an app designed for kids ages 6 to 12. They can talk to their friends, play games and learn! Check out Zeeka’s explanation for your kids.
What I like about Messenger Kids is that the parents have control over the people that their kids can talk to. They can also monitor the conversations. when you download the app from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store today. This is a separate app from what we are using. You can download it from the device or gadget that your kids will use. It will need your authentication so it should be you who will download.
As you can see in the video above, Zeeka really loves it. It’s important for kids to also have study-life balance. Since they are away from their friends, this allows them to still connect with them.
For years, Facebook has been working with Youth Advisors, a team of experts in online safety, child development, and media, to help shape
the Messenger Kids app. Facebook also continues to consult child safety advocates and educators to ensure that the Messenger Kids app balances parental control with features that help kids learn how to connect responsibly online.
“Through our work with the Stairway Foundation, the Child Rights Network, and other safety partners in the Philippines, we learned that many Filipino parents are looking for ways to help their children stay in touch with friends and family during this challenging time, in a fun and parent-supervised environment. We hope that Messenger Kids will help them to continue to find ways to have fun, create, and engage with friends and family,” said Amber Hawkes, APAC Head of Safety, Facebook.
“In a pandemic, children are not able to explore and socialize with friends the way they used to. Experiencing change and restrictions in both learning and play is especially challenging for children. We are glad to see that Messenger Kids has been designed with built-in parental controls and safety in mind, and also fun features that are age-appropriate and encouraging children to stay connected even as they are staying physically apart. We shall continue working with Facebook to help make the platform safe for children,” said Ace Diloy of the Stairway Foundation.
What I like about Messenger Kids
What i’ve noticed that with the other games, there are a lot of ads that are clickable. I just worry that Zeeka might be unintentionally sharing information onlne. Although my daughter is “tech-savvy-er” than other kids her age, I still worry since kids are still kids. I love that in messenger, there are no ads and no in-app purchases. Messenger Kids is also designed to be compliant with the Children’s Online Privacy and Protection Act (COPPA).
What I’d like to see more of
I’d love to see more role playing games that help teach them how to be creative. Although the game where you take care of the pet is a role playing game, Facebook might want to consider introducing a world of it’s own (like Minecraft and Animal Crossing) within the app.
Have you tried Messenger Kids for your children? Did they like it? Did you like it? Comment on the comment section below.
To learn more about Messenger Kids, here are some resources: