Kids will not get a separate Facebook or Messenger account as this will just be an extension of their parent's account.
To know more about children's needs, and the risks they face online, Facebook collaborated with various agencies and institutions such as the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, Center on Media and Child Health, Connect Safely, and the Sesame Workshop. Parental permission is required to sign up for the app, she said.
Children and parents can block any contacts at any time. "Video calls become so much more playful with AR", says Marcus.
Facebook says the app complies with U.S. child online privacy laws and contains no adverts. The law requires companies targeting children under 13 to take extra steps to safeguard privacy and security - particularly around advertising, as children may not understand what is and is not an ad.
Facebook does not allow children under age 13 to create their own Facebook accounts. But with technology moving deeper into the home and many firms looking for more growth, children have become a more attractive market. Steyer said in a statement. Kids wanting to add another kid as their contact must have approval from the parents of both the kids, in addition to the condition that the parents should also be connected in Facebook through their accounts.
While Facebook said in the briefing that the app was designed for kids age 6 to 12, younger kids are allowed on, too. The FTC did not respond to a request for comment.
It has been reported that Facebook now has a little-known "Youth Team" of about 100 staff working specifically on engaging with the younger market, as it continues to compete with the likes of Snapchat and Instagram for the teen market. When Facebook asked parents about launching a kids' app, many told the company that they did not want a full social network, but had more interest in a communications tool, the company said.
Because research on the long-term effects of screen time and technology on children is still limited, Facebook also announced a $1 million research fund to work with experts to explore the growing concerns. You can then finish the setup process by creating an account for your child by simply providing their name.
Facebook's focus on younger children raised some alarm bells, however.
One thing that might surprise some people is that there's no way for parents to secretly spy on what their kids are saying in their chats. The device can then be handed over to your child so he or she can start chatting with the family and friends you approve.
Facebook has been careful to comply with the law, Montgomery said.
The Center for Digital Democracy praised Facebook for creating a "walled garden" approach to the new messenger service. "I think we're at an interesting moment, and there are a lot of moves into that marketplace".
The app is now only available in the USA on Apple's iOS operating system. Facebook plans to release Android and Amazon versions next year. Facebook also said it won't automatically move users to the regular Messenger or Facebook when they get old enough, though the company might give them the option to move contacts to Messenger down the line. Once these parameters are set, kids can only see the approved contacts whether they are online or not.