Facebook’s Messenger Kids app is getting an update that will allow children under 13 to chat with each other despite their parents not being friends on Facebook.
Messenger Kids may not seem like a good idea for most parents, and experts have even asked Facebook to shut it down in the past, but it’s here, and there’s nothing you can do about it really – except perhaps not let your kids on it. In any case, if you do allow your kids to use the app, you may be pleased to know that you won’t have to be Facebook friends with the parents of the children that yours would like to be chatting with.
The update somehow makes Messenger Kids slightly more independent from Messenger-proper, but rest assured; as parents, you will still be approving every contact your child adds on the app. Also, both parents will be required to be on Facebook anyway – you just don’t have to go beyond polite hello’s and goodbyes anymore.
The process of allowing children to connect with each other is still the same; i.e. searching for the other child’s parents, and inviting them to use the app. I would imagine Facebook is making this change so that more parents would consider using the app, as it only has a measly 500,000 installs so far, however, Facebook has said that it’s a result of parent feedback about the app.
The change may cause a few challenges for parents, however. Nothing that significant, but for example, if you’re not good enough friends with them to “friend them” on Facebook, it may be more difficult to solve issues that may arise between the children. In my opinion, the update is really not a necessary one, and there are probably quite a few others that are a lot more useful. For example, the ability to set individual rules for children or a log to monitor usage.
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