Facebook messenger for kids.

While it’s impossible to virtually mimic getting together with friends, Facebook’s Messenger Kids app comes pretty close. The app was developed and released by Facebook in 2017 and is now again making waves with the introduction of new features. More and more children are using the app to safely socialize with their friends.

The app is exactly the same as the normal Messenger app in many ways, except that parents have control over their kids’ user experience. Via their own parent dashboard, they can monitor and change their child’s online activities as they see fit. They can monitor friendships, manage contact list, report and block contacts, and even limit screen time.

Overview for parents
Parents can see who their kids are messaging to – and how often. And while they can’t read the messages themselves, they can see the photos and videos their kids send and receive.

Fortunately, you don’t have to micromanage. There are settings that allow a parent to release the reins, for example if the child is a bit older. For example, parents can allow children to add and remove contacts from their contact list themselves.

Children can also take initiative by blocking contacts and reporting rude or dangerous behavior to another. In this way, Messenger Kids gives parents the opportunity to educate their children about how to use social media safely.

In addition to the options in the app itself, as a parent you can also take extra security measures outside of the app. For example, set certain restrictions on the device itself, such as screen time limits or restrictions on access to certain websites that your child may visit while using the app. The operating systems of Android and Apple both provide options for this.