Streamlined, Expanded Parental Oversight
So far, the Facebook Messenger Kids’ app is the only chat app available that offers parental control and oversight. But the company still strives to improve this unique service for users. As part of the app update, Facebook added a parent dashboard that puts all the features in one place, making for easier in-app navigation.
Through the dashboard, parents can see who their child has been messaging and video chatting with over the past 30 days. They can also see who their child has blocked, unblocked and reported. Messenger Kids marketing lead Nitya Madhavan told People this information can be a starting point for parents and children to talk openly about their thoughts on online behavior.
Facebook’s global head of safety, Antigone Davis, agreed. “They can look at that whole history and that allows them to have a conversation with their child,” Davis told People.
Something to note: blocked contacts on Messenger Kids will not be removed from group chats, but will be unable to directly message the user who blocked them. In order to fully block a contact, parents can remove them from their child’s contact list.
With the new remote log out feature, parents can use their own phone or tablet to conveniently log their child out of any devices they’ve signed onto with their account.
And if need be, the updated Messenger Kids app allows parents to download their child’s information on the app, including contacts, as well as messages, pictures and videos they’ve sent and received.
While Messenger Kids gives parents the comfort of being able to monitor their child’s online behavior, the issue of online privacy remains. In order for children to use their app, Facebook requires a wealth of user data such as their name, profile picture, birthday, gender, relationship to contacts, device information and network information.
The Facebook Messenger Kids app is available for download and update in the Apple App store for iOS and the Google Play Store for Android.