Messenger Kids allows the parental guided use of the Facebook Messenger for kids under the age of 13. The little fellas can chat with one another under the watchful eye of their parents, and with only friends, their parents have approved.
Well in the past, a parent needed to be friends with the parent(s) of their kid’s friend. Meaning Mr./Mrs. X needed to be Facebook friends with Mr./Mrs. Y for their kids to be friends and chat on Messenger Kids.
With the latest update, the parents no longer need to be Facebook friends, for their kids to connect with one another on the messaging platform. This update solves one of the earlier design problems the app had; it used to act as an extension of the parent’s social circle, instead of the kid’s.
Though that is no longer the case, the parent still remains the controller of his or her child’s friends list. The parent still gets to approve who gets added to the Messenger Kids friends list and who gets kicked out.
This update is very important especially in cases where the parents have a somewhat acquaintance-type of relationship; one that is too casual that it grossly falls short to qualify as Facebook friends. Yet their kids are close friends, and both parents are okay with that. The new update allows you (both parents) to let the kids connect, without the uncomfortable situation of the parents being forced into being ‘Facebook friends’ for their kids to chat on Messenger Kids.
As it works out, a parent will visit the Messenger Kids section on their main Facebook account (just as usual) and search the name of the parent of their kid’s friend. You can then send them an invite to get the app (if they already don’t have it) and they will then approve on their end to allow both of your kids to connect on Messenger Kids.
Both parents will have unrestricted access to their kids’ activities on Messenger Kids. However, there is another challenge. How will the parents talk to one another should the need come up? Since they are not Facebook friends, but they can both see the conversation their kids have been having on the app. Take, for instance, there are incidences of bullying, misbehavior, or general points of concerns. How will the parents communicate with each other to try and mitigate the situation?
Facebook says the move to roll out the update was informed by feedback from parents already signed up for the program.