Two months after its launch on iOS, Facebook has released a version of its child-friendly chat app Messenger Kids for Android devices.
The app is currently only available in the US, where it can be downloaded free from the Google Play Store.
Messenger Kids is designed specifically for children under 13 to chat with friends and family. A parent must install the app on their child’s phone, authenticate it with their own Facebook account and create a list of contacts. If two children want to chat using Messenger Kids, they must both have parental approval to connect their accounts.
It’s possible to chat via text using Messenger Kids, but the app puts heavy emphasis on real-time video calls, with age-appropriate filters and stickers to liven things up – and no ads.
Staying in touch
“Messenger Kids is a messaging app that helps parents and children to chat in a safer way, with parents always in control of their child’s contacts and who they can message,” a Messenger spokesperson told TechRadar
“Since we launched in December we’ve heard from parents around the United States that Messenger Kids has helped them stay in touch with their children and has enabled their children to video chat with fun masks with family members near and far.
"For example, we’ve heard stories of parents working night shifts being able read bedtime stories to their children, and moms who travel for work getting daily updates from their kids while they're away.
“We worked to create Messenger Kids with an advisory committee of parenting and developmental experts, as well as with families themselves. We continue to be focused on making Messenger Kids be the best experience it can be for families. We have been very clear that there is no advertising in Messenger Kids.”
It’s still early days for the app, and Facebook is keen to point out that it’s very attentive to parents’ feedback, which you can give via its feedback form.
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Cat is the editor of TechRadar's sister site Advnture. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better)