From overnight, not being findable on Facebook has become into something very bizarre and suspicious. Let’s face it, the first thing you do when you meet someone, if you are interested in knowing more about that person, and at least over the wide world web, is to look for them in social networks like Facebook — And even some enterprises became accustomed whether to directly ask for the link of your profile after and interview, or doing their own research about the potential candidates before taking a long term decision.
A lot of scandals and implication have followed Mark Zuckerberg and its website for making a million friends after its local launching at Harvard University on a very first time, and even a film was made to tell some background stories. Indeed, polemic and scandals didn’t stop there, so that today Facebook is covering its back more and more through arrangements like this new app that, normally, each parent around the world will deeply love: Messenger Kids.
Giving social media access to 13 years olds
So as virtual bread fresh from the oven, Facebook is launching today a game changer app with which aims to revolutionize the way young children and preadolescents can enjoy the website without necessarily turning mom and dad’s hair into a stressed grey before the normal, biological timing.
In a few words, those that are too small to use Facebook due to the age restrictions of the site, less than 13 years old to be exact, now can ask to their parents to let them submerge in the world of online relationships through a Messenger Chat that connects them under strictly parental supervision.
That being said, the probability of having our son or daughter talking to a stranger is immeasurably low, considering that parents are in charge of supervising and accepting or not both messages and contacts. In addition, the main idea is to ease the communication of kids with family and friends, all on a safe environment inside the wild Internet atmosphere, but at the best style of the millennial generation.
Web security and inclusion, or virtual marketing oriented in the smallest ones?
Nevertheless, there must be scepticals around — And I don’t blame you nor judge you, since I’m from the generation where at 13 always wanted to be playing in a backyard, doing sports or going to the pool. In fact, I often wonder where is, and if there is, a limit between teaching our future generations to be exposed to a screen so early without getting to know the real world, promoting loneliness through a non-existent, virtual universe, in opposition to introducing them to the basic notions of futurism increasingly soon, and that are playing an important role in the growth of nowadays societies.
Indeed, there’s no scapatory to the conclusion that, with an exclusive Facebook chat for kids, the company is taking a marketing strategy against the popular social networks among teens, as it’s the case of Snapchat and Instagram.
In any case, you should know that Facebook’s messaging application is not linked to a phone number — And it makes sense, because the kids are too young to have a phone line, and parents’ numbers are probably already associated to their personal Facebook accounts.
Something to highlight, also, is the fact that the company takes the security of Messenger Kids very seriously. Actually, users can not delete any message, and parents are notified every time a child reports one, playing a part of Facebook’s collaboration against bullying.
Last but not least, creating a Messenger Kids account is not the same as creating a Facebook account. Facebook only requires a first and last name for the Messenger Kids application profile, and any other data collected from the account is saved separately from the other Facebook user data. If you’re a lucky US-based citizen with iOS, you can already download the app here, though, for the rest of the world and Android users, it takes to be patient until 2k18.