Messenger Kids, the Facebook version that applies to kids below 13 years has just been provided a nice update that now enables the kids to add friends of their choice. Of course, that still has to be done with the explicit permission of their parents though the kids now have the option to initiate the proceedings.
However, and understandably so, the parents still have the initiative on their hands given that they need to turn on a setting before the feature can be used. The setting which isn’t on by default, in turn, generates a unique four-word passphrase that is used to validate each friend request.
The unique phrase is made available to both the kids, and they need to pass it on among themselves for them to become friends. The phrase will act as the key as all future friend request will also have to be validated by the same phrase. The kid just has to pass on the phrase to the one he or she wishes to become friends with and vice-versa.
Both the set of parents will also be served a friend request which is the final hurdle before the kids can get going. Also, the approval has to come from parents of both the kids before they become friends and can chat online. Everything else remains just the same, which includes the ability for the parents to keep an eye on their wards to make sure what they are up to.
The new feature also comes in the wake of another improvement Facebook introduced back in May. It had then made it possible for kids to befriend others even if the respective parents aren’t Facebook friends themselves. Before that, things used to be quite complicated for children to interact with others on Messenger Kids as becoming friends with others also required their respective parents to be friends.
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Needless to say, the simplification of the guidelines also ensured the app now has a much larger user base than it had ever been with daily downloads more than tripling since May.