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When children turn 13, they won’t instantly have their Messenger Kids profiles turned into real Facebook profiles, nor will they get kicked off Messenger Kids.
They’ll still have to build a traditional Facebook account from scratch when they’re ready.
In June, The Information reported Facebook was working on an app for teens called Talk, though that’s a bit different than this pre-teen Messenger Kids app.
While Facebook said in the briefing that the app was designed for kids age 6 to 12, younger kids are allowed on, too.
Still, a reporting interface written specifically for kids lets them flag anything sketchy to a dedicated support team working 24/7.
One thing that might surprise some people is that there’s no way for parents to secretly spy on what their kids are saying in their chats.
“In other apps, they can contact anyone they want or be contacted by anyone,” Facebook’s head of Messenger David Marcus notes.
“Video calls become so much more playful with AR,” says Marcus.
No message content is collected for ad targeting (same as Messenger), and there’s no in-app purchases to worry about.
Kids can block and unblock their parent-approved contacts.
Facebook won’t be directly monetizing Messenger Kids, automatically migrating kids to real accounts when they turn 13 or collecting data so that it complies with Children’s Online Privacy Protections Act (COPPA) law.
But the app could prime kids to become lifelong Facebook users, and lock their families deeply into the platform where they’ll see ads.