Facebook launches Messenger Kids across Sub-Saharan Africa: Giving Parents supervision over their Children’s online activity

Content provided by APO Group. CNBC Africa provides content from APO Group as a service to its readers, but does not edit the articles it publishes. CNBC Africa is not responsible for the content provided by APO Group.

Today, Facebook (www.facebook.com) is rolling out Messenger Kids, a video chat and messaging app that helps children connect with friends and family in a fun, parent-controlled space. Available to download from the Apple App and Google Play Stores, Messenger Kids has been designed for children between the ages of 6 to 12 years, with the app including two new features aimed at helping kids connect with their friends and family. 

Helping to shape the Messenger Kids app, Facebook has worked closely with Youth Advisors (https://bit.ly/2MJAm19) over the years, made up of experts in online safety, child development and media. Ahead of its launch, Facebook also consulted with child safety advocates and educators across Africa to ensure that its providing a service that balances parental control with features that help kids learn how to connect responsibly online.

Messenger Kids is made for Kids but controlled by parents, the app is full of features for kids to connect with the people they love. Once their account is set up by a parent, kids can start a one-on-one or group video chat. The home screen shows them at a glance who they are connected to, and when those contacts are online. Some fun features available in the app, include:

Playful masks, emojis and sound effects bring conversations to life. In addition to video chat, kids can send photos, videos or text messages to their parent-approved friends and adult relatives, who will receive the messages via their regular Messenger app. A library of kid-appropriate and specially chosen GIFs, frames, stickers, masks and drawing tools to let them decorate content and express their personalities.

Commenting on the launch, Kojo Boakye, Facebook Public Policy Director, Africa said: “We know that parents are turning to technology more than ever to help their kids connect with friends and family online. With privacy, security and parental control at the heart of the app, Messenger Kids provides a safe, fun space, controlled by parents to do exactly that.”

Safety expert Evelyn Kasina, Family IT Consultant, Eveminet, added: “It is our responsibility to ensure online safety for our children. The greatest sign of success is when our children display responsible independence during their online interaction. The launch of Facebook Messenger Kids is an amazing stride toward child online safety because our young children will enjoy and participate on social media on child developed platforms that have safety parameters to keep them safe.” 

Through the Parent Dashboard, parents can control and monitor their child’s activity enabling them to:

Monitor recent contacts, chat history, and reported and blocked contacts: including who your child is chatting with, whether they are video chatting or sending messages and how frequently those conversations happened over the past 30 days. You’ll also see a list of the contacts your child has blocked and/or unblocked, if they have reported any messages as well as any contacts they’ve reported and the reason for their action. Parents will continue to be notified via Messenger if their child blocks or reports someone. See a log of images and videos in chats: See the most recent photos and videos your child has sent and received in their inbox. If you believe an image or video is not appropriate for your child, you can remove it from your child’s message thread and report it.  Enable Supervised Friending: This feature will enable parents to choose to allow their kids to also accept, reject, add or remove contacts, while maintaining the ability to override any new contact approvals from the Parent Dashboard. When a kid takes a friending action, parents will be notified through Messenger and can override any new connections made by going to the Parent Dashboard, where they will also be able to see a log of recent activities. Remote Device Logout: See all devices where your child is logged in to Messenger Kids and log out of the app on any device through the Parent Dashboard Download your child’s information: Request a copy of your child’s Messenger Kids information, similar to how you can download your own information within the Facebook app. The download will include a list of your child’s contacts as well as the messages, images and videos they have sent and received. Your child will be notified through the Messenger Kids app when you request this information.

More Information on Messenger Kids

There are no ads in Messenger Kids and your child’s information isn’t used for ads.  It is free to download and there are no in-app purchases.  Messenger Kids is also designed to be compliant with the Children’s Online Privacy and Protection Act (COPPA).  Facebook continues to work with parents, safety and security experts to improve Messenger Kids and have also announced new ways to help parents connect kids with their friends.  For more specific information about the app, visit MessengerKids.com.

For the latest on how to use Messenger Kids, visit our Help Center (https://bit.ly/3f8fblI)

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Facebook.

Media Contact: Idea Engineers PR agency for Facebook South Africa Email: [email protected]

Media filesDownload logo

Related Content

WHO warns some nations still face ‘long, hard’ battle with COVID-19

GENEVA (Reuters) - Nations who fail to use all mechanisms available to combat the still-raging coronavirus will struggle to beat it, the...

Coronavirus – South Africa: Western Cape Education offers temporary classroom assistant posts during the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic

Download logoThe WCED is asking candidates who wish to be considered as temporary classroom assistants during the national state of disaster to register their profiles on our online system as part of our Classroom Assistant initiative. The COVID-19 pandemic has completely changed how schools operate, with safety guidelines in place to stop the spread of infection. This includes ensuring that learners are 1.5m apart at all times – including in the classroom. That means that learners need

A train bound for Africa’s future to emerge from the continent’s COVID-19 gloom.

On top of this, the fact that this was a contract won at one end of the continent by an entrepreneur from another end of continent also bodes well for the pan-African future of business.

Coronavirus – South Africa: 6945 new cases of COVID-19 in South Africa

COVID-19 Update: A total of 33013 COVID-19 tests were conducted in the last 24 hours. There are 6945 new cases of COVID-19. Regrettably, we report 128 more COVID-19 related deaths, bringing the total number of deaths to 2657. We send our deepest condolences.Distributed by APO Group on behalf of National Institute for Communicable Diseases, South Africa (NICD).Media filesDownload logo

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up for free newsletters and get more CNBC AFRICA delivered to your inbox

More from CNBC Africa

As the new POPI Act takes effect, here’s what you need to know

The much debated Protection of Personal Information Act is being put to bed. President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on the 22nd of June that all operational provisions of POPIA will officially commence on 1 July 2020, except for two provisions, sections 110 and 114(4), which will only commence on 30 June 2021. Is it worth it for businesses not to comply and what are the security issues around it? Wale Arewa, CEO of Xperien and Leishen Pillay, Associate Director of Privacy and Technology at Deloitte join CNBC Africa to give insight.

SAA ready to cede control to private investors

Is the South African government prepared to let go of control of its ailing airline South African Airways in a bid to save it? "We are not obsessed with control," the deputy director general of the Department of Public Enterprises was quoted as saying. He added that the government was ready to cede management control to private investors. What does this mean for business - is it practical? Air News Editor, Heidi Gibson joins CNBC Africa for more.

UBA: Over-subscription expected at Nigeria T-bill auction

Traders say there’s a likelihood of oversubscription and further drop-in stop rates following today’s Treasury Bills Auction by Nigeria’s Debt Management Office. Bankole Odusanya, Head of Fixed Income Trading at UBA joins CNBC Africa to discuss the details....

Nigeria Manufacturing PMI sees steep rise to 53.9 points in June

After recording its lowest ever Manufacturing PMI at 43.3 points in May, FBN Quest's PMI recorded a steep rise to 53.9 points in the month of June. Chinwe Egwim, Economist at FBN Quest Merchant Bank joins CNBC Africa for more.

Partner Content

Sanlam launches urgent job-preservation initiative in response to COVID-19

Sanlam Investments is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic through large-scale support of the recovery of South African companies, from small enterprises to...

Is Market Volatility Here For The Foreseeable Future?

Content provided by CompareForexBrokers Prior to understanding why market volatility might be here to stay for the foreseeable future,...

Trending Now

Can Hong Kong Survive As Asia’s Financial Hub?

Beijing has rushed to push through a new national security law in Hong Kong. Critics fear the legislation threatens civil liberties promised to the territory through July 1, 2047. The city’s special status with the U.S. also appears to be under thr

Elon Musk’s Tesla becomes most valuable automaker in latest stock rally

After several years of losses, Tesla has delivered three straight profitable quarters since the third quarter of 2019 and surprised investors with solid first-quarter deliveries despite the virus outbreak.

WHO warns some nations still face ‘long, hard’ battle with COVID-19

GENEVA (Reuters) - Nations who fail to use all mechanisms available to combat the still-raging coronavirus will struggle to beat it, the...

A train bound for Africa’s future to emerge from the continent’s COVID-19 gloom.

On top of this, the fact that this was a contract won at one end of the continent by an entrepreneur from another end of continent also bodes well for the pan-African future of business.
- Advertisement -