And the company won't mine data from it. Mashable's Kerry Flynn: (SOUNDBITE) KERRY FLYNN, BUSINESS REPORTER, MASHABLE (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Essentially, the idea of it is, if you get a kid who is age 11, 12, or younger, really used to using a Facebook app, then it's an easy transition for them to join Facebook in the future". "We appreciate that for now, the product is ad-free and appears created to put parents in control".
Today, we're excited to introduce Messenger Kids, a new app that makes it easier for kids to safely video chat and message with family and friends when they can't be together in person.
Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) has a new Messenger Kids app available. The social network also is looking at building controls around how much time a child can spend on the app.
A new report from TechCrunch says the free app is aimed at kids under 13, who can't yet have their own accounts under Facebook's rules, though they often do. "But why should parents simply trust that Facebook is acting in the best interest of kids?" said Jim Steyer, executive director of Common Sense Media, in a statement.
At the same time, Facebook is promising not to sell ads into the Messenger Kids stream nor to automatically move the kids onto Facebook when they are eligible.
NYC hit-and-run leaves 1 dead, several injured
As several people were trying to stop the fight, a auto came rushing down the sidewalk, plowed into the group and kept going. Police are now looking into the details, but so far the incident is not believed to be terrorism related, according to AP.
As for why Facebook is launching the app, the company said in email that "many of us at Facebook are parents ourselves, and it seems we weren't alone when we realized that our kids were getting online earlier and earlier", citing an external study from Dubit that found that 93% of six to 12-year-olds in the U.S. have access to tablets or smartphones.
There's a simple reason Facebook is starting to focus on children: Kids are already using technology anyway.
According to Head of Messenger David Marcus, offering Messenger Kids is another way to give parents more control over what their children read, see and hear on smartphones and tablets, which have become commonplace inside and outside the home. Davis said that Facebook spoke with the Federal Trade Commission to ensure that the app complies with COPPA.
Messenger Kids will also allow kids to send GIFs and stickers like the full-fledged Messenger, but will have them choose from a curated selection of age-appropriate materials. Facebook plans to release Android and Amazon versions next year.
YouTube has recently received criticism over concerns with its Kids app, which features videos tailored toward children. The company has no plans to release a similar kids-only platform for its other main social network, Instagram.
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