Now that COVID cases are continually on the rise, we can expect a lot of shutdowns and stay at home campaigns especially over the holiday season. We are able to stay in touch with family members and friends through various messaging apps and video communication tools. For kids, Facebook’s Messenger Kids app is a way for them to do so on their own but with parental supervision. Now the app has undergone a redesign to make it easier to use and also make it look more like Messenger rather than a kids app.

The app previously used colorful blocks that made it look more like a game than a messaging app. Now you have two navigation tabs at the bottom: Chat and Explore. This will make it easier for them to switch between the actual chats and the other in-app activities. The new Chat tab layout is also more intuitive and convenient, with active conversations at the top and media and message previews.

From the inbox itself, they can also now swipe to start a call. Just swipe right on the conversation if you want to call the person and then tap on the call button. Kids can also now choose the custom color of their chat bubble whether it’s a one-on-one conversation or a group chat. So yes basically Messenger Kids will look more like Messenger but with Parents Dashboard so you can check on your kids’ activities.

Facebook says they’re testing out this new look but it is basically a revamp of the previous design of the app. So this is probably not something they’ll eventually bring back if the feedback isn’t that positive. So in any case, your kids will eventually get this new look Messenger app whether they (or you) like it or not. At least all the other things like fun filters and single and multiplayer games and activities are still there.

This “new experience” is now rolling out to Messenger Kids users in the U.S. and Canada and on iPhones only. They will expand to Android and other territories in the coming months.