On Monday, Facebook announced its newest child-friendly application, Messenger Kids, now rolling out among iOS users in the United States.

The new application aims to provide kids with a safe way to video call or message friends and loved ones whenever and wherever they want. The main catch is that these kids can only engage Facebook users through the new app as long as their parents or guardians approve of them. This means parents would not have to worry about their children talking with strangers online, without their supervision.

Teaming Up with Industry Leaders

To know more about children's needs, and the risks they face online, Facebook collaborated with various agencies and institutions such as the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, Center on Media and Child Health, Connect Safely, and the Sesame Workshop. Meanwhile, the American Academy of Pediatrics provided some guidelines that parents may follow in monitoring their kids' use of Facebook, and other forms of digital content.

While working together with these agencies, Facebook came up with a set of guidelines that helped them in conceptualizing Messenger Kids. These guiding principles aim to make the new app both safe and fun for children.

Some of these guidelines ensure that the kids' welfare is the topmost priority while keeping them entertained when using the new Facebook app. In addition, the new messaging app will help kids in developing their own potential, as well as building a sense of self and community.

Finally, Facebook stated that it is serious in aiding parents to monitor their children's use of the company messaging apps.

Facebook Messenger Kids Basics

For parents in the U.S. who are interested in trying out the new child-friendly app, Messenger Kids is now available for iOS devices. Parents will have to register and create their child's profile in the app, and set a list of contacts whom they can chat, video call, or interact. Once these parameters are set, kids can only see the approved contacts whether they are online or not.

Fortunately, family members and relatives do not need to download the same Messenger Kids app in order to chat with the toddlers. They may do so using their own standard Messenger app.

The preview app may be downloaded from the App Store using an iPad, iPod Touch or iPhone. According to a release, Facebook plans to release the app on other platforms such as the Amazon App Store, and the Google Play Store. There is no word if there will be an international release.

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