Facebook has roughly 2.3 billion users and they’re hoping that their Facebook Messenger Kids app will expand that number substantially.
“Facebook developed this app in the sens of being a social media training wheels for kids,” explained Dr. Jaclyn Cravens, a professor of couple marriage and therapy program at Texas Tech University.
While the traditional Facebook requires that a user be 13 years old before creating an account, this app allows you children to be on under your supervision.
“Facebook is limiting what your child sees. There are no advertisements and they miss out on some of the things that parents are generally concerned about with their kids getting on social media,” said Cravens.
The app also has built-in features to give parents more control. Features like a timer that automatically kills the app after a certain period of time and a sleep mode that blocks it from being used during certain hours.
Not to mention that parents are the ones that approve any and all friends that their child can have contact with.
But there are still some dangers with the app. Primarily associated with the device that you allow your child to use it on.
“The Facebook’s end what they allow them to have access to is kid friendly content. But, the kids are also able to share photos, send videos that they record on their phone and so if they have downloaded a quote unquote iffy picture on their phone, they’re still able to share that with friends,” said Cravens
Cravens also said that just because it says it’s for children doesn’t mean it’s for all children. It’s why she recommends that parents sit down and discuss if your child is ready for the pressures of social media even if it is on a smaller scale.
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