The primary Facebook Messenger app got a huge update with a visual redesign and a lot of features. The very next thing you’ll see is that Facebook has released an updated version of the Messenger Kids app as well. The new app which now feels more like its parent app allows users to have a personalized experience.
First up, Facebook has redesigned the UI adding two easy-to-understand and dedicated tabs “Chats” and “Explore”. The ‘Chats’ tab gives all the contacts and their messages while the ‘Explore’ section has all in-app activities. It includes games for 2 players and more and other activities.
Facebook has added a swipe to call feature where kids can simply swipe on the contact to call directly from the ‘Chats’ tab. Personalize chats and add custom chat bubble colors based on your mode.
Apparently, the social networking giant is calling these changes a ‘test’ without committing to it globally. However, TechCrunch points out that these changes are pretty significant. Thus, it is less likely that Facebook will roll back these changes made based on user feedback which is usually why companies ‘test’ their versions of apps by releasing them.
The updated Facebook Messenger Kids app is already rolling out across Canada and the U.S. on iPhones. The company will soon release it across other markets and device types and that could take a few months.
There are some key aspects that kids can check out with the Messenger Kids app. All the incoming messages will arrive on top of the inbox and will have a ‘bold’ annotation to signify it. Media and message previews right in the inbox allow kids to decide whether to open the chatbox or not. Kids can video call, take photos with a tonne of filters available on the app, and more.
Parents have a dedicated Parent Dashboard that they can use to limit their kid’s usage of this particular app. They can also set some controls. The app still takes a lot of data including age, gender, name, profile photo, device timezone, parent’s connection to the kids, etc. This is a bit of concern that parents have as it is not yet clear what Facebook does with the data. Although it is glorified that they use the data to evaluate and better their products.