Facebook launches new "Messenger Kids" app

U.K. Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt | Tolga Akmen  AFP via Getty Images

U.K. Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt | Tolga Akmen AFP via Getty Images

However, even as Facebook was rolling out the kiddie chat app, the adult version of Facebook Messenger went down briefly, and as usual users were panicky and took to Twitter to air their grievances. Once confirmed to be safe, friends can do live video chat and send pictures and text to each other.

If two kids want to message each other, the parents of both kids have to be friends on Facebook.

While the Facebook technically only allows children aged 13 to create profiles, lax prevention methods has resulted in more than 20 million under under-13-year-olds using the network, according to Consumer Reports.

Every child account on Messenger Kids must be set up by a parent.

"When we heard about the need for better apps directly from parents during research and conversations with parents, we knew we needed to develop it alongside with the people who were going to use it, as well as experts who could help guide our thinking", Cheng said in a statement.

There will also be "a library of kid-appropriate and specially chosen GIFs, frames, stickers, masks and drawing tools lets them decorate content and express their personalities".

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This is the first time Facebook has developed an app specifically for kids.

YouTube has recently received criticism over concerns with its Kids app, which features videos tailored toward children.

Parents approve all the friend requests.

Parents are the ones who create the account, since you can't technically have a Facebook unless you're 13. "This is by far the most clumsy part of Messenger Kids", TechCrunch reported. To get there, click on "More" on the bottom right corner in your main Facebook app, and click "Messenger Kids" in the Explore section. Plus, it follows all the rules of COPPA, the law that protects children's online privacy.

For now, the app is only available for Apple products, but will soon be coming to Android and Google.

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