Facebook launched Messenger Kids in 2017 to allow young children – those too young for their own account (therefore, under the age of 13) – to chat with friends and family under the umbrella of a parent’s account . Today, the company has announced a host of new features to give parents more control over what their little guy or daughter does in Messenger Kids.
If you and your child are already using Messenger Kids (or if you’ve suspended the service due to a lack of parental controls), the new features announced by Facebook today should be welcome.
For starters, parents can now see tons of recent chat information, including contacts and chat history, pictures (sent and received), and blocked contacts. This will allow you to see what your child is talking about, who they are talking to and whether they have recently blocked someone. If you see something you don’t like, like an inappropriate photo, for example, you can delete it remotely from the chat.
Parents can now also monitor the devices children use to sign in to Messenger Kids and disconnect them remotely if necessary. It’s a good way to make sure that older devices still don’t have access to the service, but Facebook is quick to point out that it’s not a way to temporarily block your child’s access to Messenger Kids. – That’s what Standby is for.
Finally, parents can download a copy of their child’s activity from Messenger Kids. This data includes the contact list, messages, images and videos (sent and received). Your child will receive a notification if you try to extract this information, so you cannot secretly try to extract the chat logs. It’s kind of a disappointment, but I understand.
All of these new features should be available now in the parent dashboard, which you can find under the Messenger Kids link in the main Facebook app. If you want more information about these new features, Facebook has a pretty good article brand new retailer.