Facebook released a limited preview of a messaging app for kids to attract a new generation of users. Fred Katayama reports.
Facebook is rolling out a new app, Messenger Kids. It's coming out as a limited preview on Apple devices in the United States. Facebook's app is designed for users under the age of 13. It lets them do video chats and send photos, videos and texts. But first, kids must get a parental approval. Parents use their Facebook email and password to activate their child's account. They also have control over their kid's online activities. Facebook says the app won't display ads. And the company won't mine data from it. Mashable's Kerry Flynn: (SOUNDBITE) KERRY FLYNN, BUSINESS REPORTER, MASHABLE (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Essentially, the idea of it is, if you get a kid who is age 11, 12, or younger, really used to using a Facebook app, then it's an easy transition for them to join Facebook in the future. That's the hope it's essentially creating. 'Of course, I want to be on Facebook. I've been using it since I was six years old.' So, it's kind of that fan ecosystem that other companies have had for so much longer." Facebook has been focusing on capturing younger users as it faces competition from Snapchat. In October, it bought TBH - short for "to be honest" - an app that lets friends create polls about each other's best features. The app is very popular among teens.