Facebook has a new version of Messenger made just for kids under the age of 13. It allows kids to communicate with their parents, like the regular Messenger app, but it gives parents a level of control that messaging apps intended for adults don’t offer.
It’s available as a preview in the Apple App store for iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touch. A version for Kindles and for Android devices will be coming soon.
Kids will be able to send pictures, messages, and videos to other kids using the Messenger Kids app and to adults using the regular Messenger app. But those friends must be approved by parents before children can send or receive messages to people.
For example, a parent might only allow a child to contact parents, grandparents, or siblings using the app. Strangers will not be able to message your child. Your Facebook friends will not be able to message your child unless you specifically add them to the account.
Like the adult version of Messenger, the app features stickers, animated GIFS, and the ability to draw on the screen to jazz up your messages. The stickers and GIFs available for messages in the app are also kid-friendly. The app doesn’t permit in-app purchases and contains no ads.
Parents can manage who their children connect with using a Messenger control panel in their own Facebook Messenger App.
To download, go to the Apple App Store and look for Messenger Kids. Once downloaded and installed on your child’s device, you’ll need to log in with your Facebook account. This app does not create a Facebook account for your child.
To select contacts for your child, go to the three line menu bar at the bottom of the regular Facebook app on your phone.
Then scroll down to apps and find Messenger Kids. Tap on the app.
Then just follow the instructions to get started.