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  • Facebook's Messenger Kids Is Now In The Philippines: How To Use It

    Children can now chat and make video calls with friends and family in a parent-controlled environment.
    by Kitty Elicay .
Facebook's Messenger Kids Is Now In The Philippines: How To Use It
PHOTO BY iStock
  • If you’ve been wondering how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting your child’s social skills and are looking for ways to address it, here’s something that might help: social media company Facebook recently announced that it is rolling out Messenger Kids in the Philippines! It’s an app specifically designed for children ages 6 to 12, allowing them to exchange messages and video calls with friends and family in a parent-controlled environment.

    “Through our work with the Stairway Foundation, the Child Rights Network, and other safety partners in the Philippines, we learned that many Filipino parents are looking for ways to help their children stay in touch with friends and family during this challenging time, in a fun and parent-supervised environment,” said Facebook APAC Head of Safety Amber Hawkes in a statement. “We hope that Messenger Kids will help them to continue to find ways to have fun, create, and engage with friends and family.”

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    First launched in the United States in 2017, the app is now available for download in the Philippines from the Apple App Store and Google Play store.

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    How to use Messenger Kids

    Only parents or guardians can set up a child account on Messenger Kids. It will only create an account on the app, and not a Facebook account for your child.

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    1. Download the app.

    The Messenger Kids app can be downloaded on your child’s iPad, iPod touch, or iPhone. It will also be available for Android devices in the Google Play store.

    2. Authenticate.

    You will be asked to authenticate your child’s device using your own Facebook username and password. Note that this will not give them access to your Facebook account.

    3. Create an account.

    Finish the setup process by creating an account for your child, where you’ll provide their name and opt-in to any additional features. You can now let your kids use the app.

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    Messenger Kids features

    Messenger Kids offers one-on-one or group video chat, as well as message threads between contacts. Here are some of the features:

    • Playful masks, emojis, and sound effects
    • Send photos, videos, or text messages to their parent-approved friends and relatives
    • Kid-appropriate GIFs, frames, stickers, masks, and drawing tools

    Parent Controls on Messenger Kids

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    By creating an account for your child, you will have access to a Parent Dashboard on your Facebook account. Here, you’ll be able to manage your child’s online experience including:

    • Supervised friending. Parents are the only ones who can add contacts to the app, as well as monitor friending activity.
    • Activity monitoring. See who your child is chatting with and how frequently over the last 30 days. You can also see the most recent photos and videos that your child has sent and received. Inappropriate messages can immediately be removed and reported.
    • Blocking and reporting. Your kids can block or report people at any time. You will also be notified of this so you can check your child’s account.
    • Sleep mode. Parents can control which days and times their child can use the app.
    • Download your child’s information. You can request a copy of your child’s Messenger Kids information at any time. This includes their contact list, messages, images, and videos.

    Have you tried Messenger Kids? What do you think about it? Tell us in the comments!

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    What social skills does your child need to know before entering school? Click here for a list.

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