Facebook at present is rolling out an updated version of its Messenger Children app with the aim of creating it simpler for youths to work together with their family and friends, navigate the app, and personalize their expertise with options like customized chat bubble colours. The redesign additionally provides the kid-friendly app a look-and-feel that’s extra like Messenger itself.
The up to date app does away with the bigger, colourful blocks that will flash when messages arrive for a extra conventional messaging app design the place chats are stacked in a vertical checklist. The kid’s unread messages, now on the prime of the inbox, are in daring with a blue dot subsequent to them to name the attention’s consideration. Media and message previews have additionally been added, too, permitting youngsters to extra simply see updates for his or her conversations.
The redesign introduces new navigation with two devoted “Chat” and “Discover” navigation tabs on the backside of the display screen, permitting for youths to change between their conversations and the opposite in-app actions the app supplies, like its mini-games
And with a brand new swipe gesture, youngsters can begin a name from their inbox.
Lastly, the replace introduces a brand new choice to personalize conversations, together with each particular person and group chats, with a customized chat bubble colour.
Fb refers back to the replace as a “check,” however the adjustments right here will not be small tweaks to the structure, navigation or function set — they’re a revamp. That makes it much less possible that that is just a few experiment that can later be rolled again based mostly on consumer suggestions. As an alternative, by referring to it as a check, Fb provides itself extra time earlier than committing to a worldwide rollout.
The corporate says the brand new options will first roll out to youngsters utilizing iPhones within the U.S. and Canada. The replace will later broaden to different units and markets within the months forward.
The adjustments arrive shortly after Messenger itself received a significant update of its own, which included a visible makeover and new options, together with assist for chat themes, customized reactions, selfie stickers and vanish mode, along with assist for cross-app communication with Instagram customers. These updates may have led to the Messenger Children makeover as effectively, given there’s possible some underlying messaging infrastructure that’s shared right here.
The Messenger Children app has been steadily up to date within the years since its launch, most lately with a big explainer on what Facebook is doing with all that data it’s collecting.
Mother and father ought to be conscious this app at present collects quite a lot of private info, together with names, profile images, demographic particulars (gender and birthday), a toddler’s connection to folks, contacts’ info (like most frequent contacts), app utilization info, machine attributes and distinctive identifiers, information from machine settings (like time zones or entry to digital camera and images), community info and data offered from issues like bug experiences or suggestions/contact types. Whereas a few of this does permit the app to correctly perform, there’s additionally concern from some mother and father about how this information is basically getting used.
Whereas the app does supply a collection of parental controls that make it simpler for folks to watch and prohibit how and when their youngsters chat on-line, Messenger Children’ privateness coverage nonetheless leaves itself quite a lot of wiggle room about how the info could also be used to “consider, troubleshoot, enhance, create, and develop our merchandise” and be shared with different Facebook Companies. Mother and father ought to fastidiously weigh the dangers of permitting their youngster to make use of a Fb product with the conveniences of with the ability to use an app with a strong set of parental controls.