Nowadays it is not strange to see children using mobile phones. Moreover, it is said that new generations are born with a smartphone under his arm instead of a bread. However, there are some services for which they are not allowed access , or at least, they can not register if they do not have a minimum age.
One of these cases is Facebook; The social network does not allow minors to register until they have reached the age of thirteen, however, today they have announced a new service dedicated especially to children between 6 and 12 years old , Facebook Messenger Kids. Why does Facebook launch a specific application for an audience that can not even use its main service?
Nothing without parental permission and without monetization
To understand well what is the strategy behind Facebook Messenger Kids we will first see what will be its operation and above all, its restrictions. The first point is that, just download the application, it will be the parents (or legal guardians) with their own Facebook credentials who register your child.
In this way, the Messenger Kids account will be linked to the Facebook account of the legal guardian so that each and every one of the actions carried out in it are hand in hand with it. As well, only parents can add contacts so that these are just trusted adults who already have an account on Facebook (grandparents, uncles…).
But what if the children want to add other children to talk to them? In this case the parents of both children must be friends on Facebook so that the friendship request can be completed bidirectionally. In the same way that we can add contacts for children we can eliminate them, and also the application allows children to block contacts and in that case, parents receive a notification by reporting it.
From Facebook they assure that the application was designed by a joint team composed of parents and organizations that are experts in child development as PTA and that complies with the Child Privacy Protection Law on the Internet. Precisely for this reason, Facebook Messenger Kids will not collect data from children in the face of possible monetizations so obviously, there will be no segmented ads either.
Preparing the land for the little ones
After verifying that the new application will not help Facebook to earn money (due to the lack of monetization), we are clear that what the social network is proposing here is a way for children to start their journey on social networks from a secure environment , controlled by their parents.
It can also be seen as a way to expand its already extensive network of users , as we explained before, so that a child can be a friend of another child, the parents of both have to be contacts and therefore have a Facebook account of their own .
This is where the debate arises about the extent to which it is necessary for a six-year-old child to begin the journey through a medium that, sooner or later, will end up acquiring almost inevitably given the prominence that social networks have today in our society. Perhaps it is better not to “force” things or perhaps it is important that they get used to a medium in which they will spend a lot of time at an early age, but ultimately, it is important that at least the decision be their parents’.