Facebook Messenger for Kids Gets New Features, Expands to More Countries

Facebook Messenger for Kids Gets New Features, Expands to More Countries

Posted by · 2598 views · Translate

Facebook has announced an update to its Messenger Kids app that brings new features and an expansion of the app to more than 70 countries.

With schools closed and people physically distancing, parents are turning to technology more than ever to help their kids connect with friends and family. Messenger Kids is a video chat and messaging app that helps kids connect with friends and family in a fun, parent-controlled space. Today, we’re starting to roll out Messenger Kids to more countries and we’re adding new choices for parents to connect kids with friends. Starting today, kids in more than 70 new countries around the world can use Messenger Kids, with more coming soon.

New features include Supervised Friending, Connecting Kids Through Groups, and Helping Kids Connect With More Friends.

More details below...

-----
Supervised Friending
Parents have told us they want to be able to give their kids more independence in managing their contact list while still maintaining parental supervision. Previously, it was up to parents to invite and approve every contact for their child. Now with Supervised Friending, parents can choose to allow their kids to also accept, reject, add or remove contacts, while maintaining the ability to override any new contact approvals from the Parent Dashboard. Supervised Friending will start rolling out today in the US and will gradually roll out to the rest of the world.

Facebook Messenger for Kids Gets New Features, Expands to More Countries

When a kid takes a friending action, parents will be notified through Messenger and can override any new connections made by going to the Parent Dashboard, where they will also be able to see a log of recent activities.

Facebook Messenger for Kids Gets New Features, Expands to More Countries

To ensure that kids understand these new options, we consulted Dr. Lewis Bernstein,* a member of Facebook’s Youth Advisors and former executive vice president of education and research at Sesame Workshop, to develop the language used to educate kids on this new feature.

“This is a powerful opportunity and teachable moment for parents to have a conversation with their kids about the life-long skill of choosing one’s friends, both face to face and online,” said Dr. Bernstein. “In addition to allowing parents more ways to manage their child’s messaging experience, Supervised Friending develops kids’ autonomy to decide who they do or don’t want to connect with, while parents can observe, provide guidance and step in as necessary.”


Connecting Kids Through Groups
Kids often build community through their classes at school, participating in a team sport or other extracurricular activities. Just as parents allow a teacher or coach to help their child navigate classroom or team friendships, this new feature gives parents the choice to approve a similar adult to help connect their child with other kids through a group in Messenger Kids. These approved adults can only connect kids whose parents have also granted this adult the same approval. This feature will be available starting today in the US, and will gradually roll out to the rest of the world. Teachers, coaches, parents and other leaders can access this feature here.

“Successful distance learning depends not only on educational content, but social emotional support as well,” said Kathleen Lucchesi, Khan Academy Teacher Ambassador and math department chair at McCaffrey Middle School in Galt, California. “As a teacher, I know my students are missing their friends and daily classroom interactions. I’m excited to use this new feature to help my kids have fun, stay connected and build camaraderie virtually.”

Facebook Messenger for Kids Gets New Features, Expands to More Countries

Parents will be notified when new contacts are added for their child and can manage the list of contacts and approved adults through the Parent Dashboard. Once connected through a group, kids will also be able to chat with each other individually. Kids can also leave groups they’re added to at any time.


Helping Kids Connect With More Friends
We’re making it easier for kids to find and connect with more friends in Messenger Kids. Parents in the US, Canada and Latin America can now choose to make their kid’s name and profile photo visible to friends of their kid’s contacts and their parents, kids of the parent’s Facebook friends, and kids of people parents invite to download the Messenger Kids app. This feature will roll out to the rest of the world in the coming weeks.

Facebook Messenger for Kids Gets New Features, Expands to More Countries
-----


You can download Messenger Kids from the App Store for free.

Download


Facebook Messenger for Kids Gets New Features, Expands to More Countries

Recent