By Juliet Umeh
As part of the measures for parents to supervise their children online, networking platform, Facebook, said it is rolling out Messenger Kids application in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Messenger Kids is a video chat and messaging app that helps children connect with friends and family in a fun, parent-controlled space, giving parents’ supervision over their children’s online activity.
It said the app which designed for children between the ages of six to 12 years,
will also enable them to safely video chat and message with family and friends when they can’t be together in person.
The app can be downloaded from the Apple App and Google Play Stores.
Facebook explained: “Ahead of its launch, we consulted with child safety advocates and educators across Africa to ensure that we are providing a service that balances parental control with features that help kids learn how to connect responsibly online.
“Once their account is set up by a parent, kids can start a one-on-one or group video chat. The home screen shows them at a glance who they are connected to, and when those contacts are online. Some fun features available in the app include: Playful masks, emojis and sound effects bring conversations to life.
“In addition to video chat, kids can send photos, videos or text messages to their parent-approved friends and adult relatives, who will receive the messages via their regular Messenger app.
A library of kid-appropriate and specially chosen GIFs, frames, stickers, masks and drawing tools to let them decorate content and express their personalities.
Facebook Public Policy Director, Africa Kojo Boakye, said: “We know that parents are turning to technology more than ever to help their kids connect with friends and family online. With privacy, security and parental control at the heart of the app, Messenger Kids provides a safe, fun space, controlled by parents to do exactly that.”
Safety expert Evelyn Kasina and Family IT Consultant, Eveminet, added: “It is our responsibility to ensure online safety for our children. The greatest sign of success is when our children display responsible independence during their online interaction. The launch of Facebook Messenger Kids is an amazing stride toward child online safety because our young children will enjoy and participate on social media on child developed platforms that have safety parameters to keep them safe.”