For the first time ever Facebook has decided to open itself to kids under the age of 13, an important category that has been so far left untouched by the social media giant. On Monday, Mark Zuckerberg’s company unveiled a special Messenger Kids app that would allow all kids under the age of 13 to send/receive texts, videos and photos to & from their Facebook friends.
But this freedom would come with some strings attached, since kids will have to depend on their parent’s permission before performing almost every important action through this app. This would not only include signing into the app, but also making new friends as well. Currently, this special kids app is available only in the U.S.
Facebook’s decision to offer parent’s an unprecedented control is obviously aimed at assuaging parent’s concern over their young kids getting exposed to child abuse, sexual explicit contents etc. through the social media contents. Facebook on it part also consulted scores of parents and several children’s advocates before designing this special app.
Parents will have to use their own Facebook ID and password to activate their kid’s account. But privacy-obsessed parents don’t have to worry about kids getting access to their account, since the social media company has completely taken care of this thing.
As of now Facbook will keep this app ad free, but the company has said that it will collect some critical data’s including kid’s name, content of their messages and data about how the app is being used. Collecting critical data’s have always constituted to be an important function for internet driven companies to spruce up their advertisement revenues. This, by the way, has been the fundamental reason for Facebook to launch this special kids app.
Since kids below 13 years of age still can’t sign into Facebook’s main social network, the social media giant has so far not really been able to tap into this promising market. Worse, one of its main rival Snapchat has been trying to get really deep into this lucrative market with its special feature SnapKidz – accessible only on IOS devices.
It is all too well known that today kids play an important role in parent’s buying decisions, which makes them an important part of the entire advertisement ball game. But what really makes companies like Facebook to go running behind the young kids is the fact that they have become really tech savvy. Young kids growing fetish for smartphones, tablets and laptops have certainly got Mark Zuckerberg and co to start cracking this untapped market.