Facebook launches Messenger Kids in the Philippines

FACEBOOK has launched Messenger Kids in the Philippines, an app that allows children six to 12 years old to use video chat and messaging features in a parent-controlled environment, to provide children a safer avenue to communicate with their peers during the pandemic.

“It is essentially designed for kids to connect with their friends and family in a more controlled and parent-supervised environment,” Amber Hawkes, head of safety for APAC in Facebook, said during a digital conference on Sept. 2.

The app was initially rolled out in the US in 2017 and currently has 7 million users globally.

Ms. Hawkes noted that since the pandemic happened and lockdown measures were imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019), they have seen a “particularly fast uptake” as the app is now being rolled out globally this year.

“Children and parents are really finding it of great use to help them stay in touch at this time,” she explained.

Messenger Kids allows children to use Messenger features, including video chats and messaging, but does not create an actual Facebook account for the child as Facebook regulations only allow children aged 13 and up to register for an account.