Facebook introduces Messenger Kids app with parental controls

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Facebook has rolled out a new app called "Messenger Kids", that will let kids under the age of 13 text and video chat with their friends and family without those pesky ads or in app purchases.

The social media giant also say the app is being developed in order for parents to monitor their kids online activity more closely as more and more children have been found to be using the official Facebook website in recent years.

Once an account has been set up by a parent, children can start a one-on-one or group video chat with parent-approved contacts through a home screen.

"In addition to our research with thousands of parents, we've engaged with over a dozen expert advisers in the areas of child development, online safety, and children's media and technology who've helped inform our approach to building our first app for kids".

JEREMY HUNT today blasted Facebook for launching a new app aimed directly at under-13s despite promising to protect young children.

The app is now only available in the USA on Apple's iOS operating system.

Parents are often anxious about what their kids do on social media and whom they are talking to, especially Facebook. "Sometimes after 5 or 10 minutes it's really hard to have a sustained conversation with a 7-year-old", but kids can joke around with Grampa using the selfie filters when they run out of run-on stories to tell them.

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With so many people starting to rely on Messenger as their main form of communication, a lot of people are taking to Twitter to vent their frustrations.

Loren Cheng, product management director, said Facebook staff had already been testing the app with their families at home.

"Also, not all parents will have the confidence and knowledge to manage this app safely".

Facebook created the app after surveying parents across the US.

Although some parents are impressed with the lengths Facebook went to make the app as safe as possible, others are understandably expressing some concern in the review section of the app's page in the iTunes store. Sean Parker, one of Facebook's early investors and its first president, recently opined on the negative impact of the service he helped create. Facebook did not specify how children and parents could prove their relation to each other.

"Not sure this is the right direction at all", he tweeted.

Neither of those things would happen, Facebook said.