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Facebook rolls out messenger app for kids under 13

From Reuters - December 4, 2017

(Reuters) - Facebook Inc (FB.O) on Monday rolled out Messenger Kids, an app that lets the worlds biggest social media company expand into a so-far untapped market of kids under 13 while also giving parents complete control over what their children see.

Facebook normally requires users to be at least 13 years old. The new app gives it a chance to win brand loyalty from younger children at a time when it faces competition for teenagers from other social media platforms such as Snapchat.

There already are a handful of other apps that children can use with parental consent, and kids can communicate with each other using texting on cellpones.

Facebook said research showed young children were already using technology on a regular basis - but on apps built for teens and adults, raising concern among parents that their children might be communicating with strangers.

At the same time, parents were willing to let their children aged 6 to 12 use social media as long as there was strict parental control. Facebook Messenger Kids requires parents to set up an account and approve their childrens contacts.

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