FB debuts Messenger Kids to kidnap teens from Snapchat

FB debuts Messenger Kids to kidnap teens from Snapchat

"Many of us at Facebook are parents ourselves, and it seems we weren't alone when we realized that our kids were getting online earlier and earlier", a Facebook statement said. One user gave the product one star and commented: "Way too easy for children to sign up without parents' knowledge".

So on Monday, Facebook launched its first app tailored for young users.

Hooked on FacebookIs Messenger Kids is a way for the Facebook to rope in the young ones?

However, the social network announced yesterday that its new app, Messenger Kids, will be open to users of ever younger age.

Marketing mattersFacebook said Messenger Kids will not display any advertisements or it will not collect data for marketing, though it will collect some data so that the app can necessary to run the service.

Jenny Radesky, a paediatrics professor at the University of MI, told the Wall Street Journal: "In my research, clinical work and friendships, I've never heard parents say that they want their child using social media earlier".

The health secretary accused the company of "targeting younger children" after Facebook announced on Monday that it was conducting trials of an app called Messenger Kids in the United States, which is created to be used by pre-teens. "We want to create technologies that benefit, rather than harm or are merely neutral on the lives of children".

Messenger Kids is a separate app and doesn't require a Facebook account.

Although some parents are impressed with the lengths Facebook went to make the app as safe as possible, others are understandably expressing some concern in the review section of the app's page in the iTunes store. Parents fully control the contact list and kids can't connect with contacts that their parent does not approve. "But why should parents simply trust that Facebook is acting in the best interest of kids?"

"We know that when building for kids, we have to get it right and we're taking that responsibility seriously", wrote Antigone Davis, Facebook public policy director and global head of safety.

"As children increasingly have access to tablets and smartphones at younger ages, parents shouldn't have to choose between giving kids access to no internet and the whole internet".

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