Facebook is rolling out a new feature to Messenger Kids that allows children to initiate and accept friend requests without their parents having to do so.
Facebook is letting children send and accept friend requests on its Messenger Kids app with a new passphrase feature. Before you start getting upset though, it is worth noting that parents will still need to approve the request. Also, the feature is opt-in, which means it is disabled to start with. Parents can choose to enable it if they feel comfortable with their under-13-year-old sending or receiving friend requests.
The way it works is simple: After a parent has turned on the feature and opt-in, the child gets a four-word code that he or she can then give to friends they want to connect. When the friend taps the “Add Friends and Family” tile from their home screen or profile, they then enter the code of the kid they want to connect with.
Parents will then get a request in their parental control panel, where they can choose whether to make the contact request. Facebook explains that “as always, both parents have to approve a contact for two kids to connect.”
The new feature is a response to feedback “from kids and parents that it’s too hard for kids to request contacts and let their parent know when they want to talk to a friend.” It is now available on iOS and Android in the US, Peru, Mexico and Canada, and will be rolling out to all Messenger Kids users soon.
The feature rolls out this week to iOS and Android users in the U.S., Peru and Canada, and it will be available globally soon.