Messenger features like location sharing and payments have been stripped out, while the Kids version of Giphy won’t let you search for things like “sex.” Facebook actually manually selected a set of GIFs that kids can use rather than relying on a third-party startup to tag things well enough.Still, a reporting interface written specifically for kids lets them flag anything sketchy to a dedicated support team working 24/7.Instead, parents download the Messenger Kids app to a child’s i Phone or i Pad (Android coming soon).

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From there, kids can dive instantly into a video chat or text thread with their contacts.

No message content is collected for ad targeting (same as Messenger), and there’s no in-app purchases to worry about.

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‘This works’, they said,” Facebook product management director Loren Cheng tells me.

“In other apps, they can contact anyone they want or be contacted by anyone,” Facebook’s head of Messenger David Marcus notes.

Tweens don’t sign up for a Facebook account and don’t need a phone number, but can communicate with other Messenger and Messenger Kids users parents sign-off on, so younger siblings don’t get left out of the family group chat.

“We’ve been working closely with the FTC so we’re lockstep with them.

Kids still can’t be found through Facebook search, which protects their privacy.

So if a child wants to be able to chat with one of their classmates, their parent must first friend that kid’s parent, and then will see the option to approve that adult’s child as a contact for their own kid.

This is by far the most clumsy part of Messenger Kids, and something Facebook might be able to improve with a way for Messenger Kids to let children perhaps photograph a QR code on their playmate’s app to request that their parents connect.