Facebook’s Messenger service for kids launched in over 70 new countries
Facebook has made a number of tweaks to the Messenger to make the kids’ version
Facebook has launched the Messenger Kids app in more than 70 countries including Brazil, India, Japan and New Zealand. The help page on the Facebook website lists all the countries where this service is available and mentions that it can be downloaded from the Apple App Store, Google Play Store and the Amazon Appstore. Alongside, Facebook has also announced all the tweaks it has made to the Messenger app to make the kids' version.
This is essentially Messenger Kids' second launch, it was launched in the US in 2017 and expanded to Canada and Peru in 2018. Facebook's push into newer markets right now is to help kids around the world who are having to learn remotely as the Covid-19 lockdown continues.
Facebook has tweaked friend requests on the Messenger Kids app and also how children and parents can use the service. In the latter case, parents can now opt to let their kids control their own friend requests rather than managing it on their behalf. However, parents will still receive notifications when their kids accept friend requests and can override any connection they want (need) to.
As compared to how the messaging app launched initially, Facebook has also changed how 'Groups' works on Messenger Kids. Parents will be able to approve an adult, like a coach, another parent or a teacher, to manage a group chat with their kids in it. Parents will also be able to opt-in to make their children's profile photos and names visible to friends of friends.
This child-focused offering from facebook has faced some controversies in the past. Last year an implementation error allowed kids to create chat groups with people their parents had not approved. This override brought in congressional backlash with senators pushing the social media giant to take a more proactive stance in security and privacy.
Messenger Kids is out in the new markets today with the new friend request and group functionality rolling out in the US today followed by more international markets later.