Facebook Wants Kids to Take a Break From Messenger
Facebook thinks that kids need a "time out," from it's specially designed messenger for kids, and it's giving parents the tools to make it happen.
Last year, I reported that the social media giant was targeting kids with it's "Messenger for Kids." The app was supposed to give children from 6-12 years old a glimpse into the world of Facebook. This would initially seem counter to the longstanding Facebook rule of only allowing those age 13 and older to create a "free" profile, however the app is chocked full of parental controls. The app could only be downloaded and activated with a parent's permission, and a parent would have to set up the contacts and permissions. Basically, a child would not be able to strike out in to the wild frontier that is Facebook on their own.
On Friday, Facebook rolled out a new feature that will allow parents to restrict the amount of time their child spends on the app. "Sleep Mode," will give Mom and/or Dad the ability to set blackout times when the child would have access blocked. This would be most useful during scheduled family time (like dinner), homework time, or anytime you don't want their heads stuck in a screen. Developers have even tried to diffuse any meltdowns that might arise if the app suddenly stopped working due to the limits set by parents, as a 10 minute countdown appears to let kids know they are about to be cut off.