If your child wants to chat with relatives and approved friends on mobile devices, you’d, of course, want to have a bit of parental control over whatever platform they’re using. Facebook recently launched Messenger Kids but it was only for iOS devices and Amazon Fire tablets. Now it’s finally making its way to Android devices, despite some misgivings voiced out by child advocacy groups about the dangers of letting kids use an app that might be addictive and a security risk at the same time.
Unlike the main Messenger app, this kids version doesn’t require them to have a Facebook account or a mobile number to sign up. It’s entwined with the parent’s FB profiles and so they can monitor the activities and have a pre-approved list of grown-ups and kids that they can talk to through chat and video calls. There are also no in-app purchases and messages can’t be hidden and will not disappear.
Since it’s for kids after all, you have a lot of kid-appropriate stickers, GIFs, frames, and emojis. They can even use interactive masks during their one-on-one or group video calls. Kids will also be able to create their own videos and dress up photos that they can send to their loved ones.
You can download the Messenger Kids app on your Android smartphone or tablet for free from the Google Play Store. Advocacy group Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood has expressed concerns about the app but Facebook says this is not actually a social media app but a communication tool for kids to their loved ones.