Kids Get Their Own Facebook Messenger
Just as Facebook announces mass messaging capabilities for business speaking with customers on Facebook Messenger, the social network is creating a closed ecosystem for children. But it’s not all bad news for marketers.
While the “Messenger Kids” announcement on Monday from Facebook Messenger links to a FAQ that makes it clear there won’t be any advertising on the standalone app, marketers may be able to form better ideas about the composition of households.
Is there advertising on Messenger Kids?
No, Messenger Kids is an ad-free experience. The app is also free, and there are no in-app purchases.
This news comes days after TechCrunch’s Nov. 28 article, “Facebook Prototypes ‘Messenger Broadcast’ for Businesses.”
TechCrunch’s Josh Constine writes about that opt-in ad option’s testing:
While the company was cagey about the functionality [of Messenger Broadcast], it appears that businesses design a welcome message, message title and subtitle, and include a call to action to the user, such as visiting the business’ website, prompting a Messenger bot or tapping to send a preset reply written by the business. Companies can preview their message within the Messenger Broadcast interface or on Messenger itself.
Messenger Kids: The Good News About Demographics, Time in App
Messenger Kids … is for kids. Parents will have to use their Facebook accounts to connect to their children. That means marketers may be able to get a better idea about households, which means they can opt to advertise to parents within Messenger. (In addition to the mass messaging TechCrunch details, marketers have been able to send ads to customers for a while. Now they may have a better idea of household size and perhaps how often parents and grandparents use Facebook — which may increase with the availability of Messenger Kids.)
Here’s what the FAQ says about Facebook users connecting to Messenger Kids accounts:
How does a kid get connected to friends and family?
Parents initiate all contact requests on behalf of their children from the Messenger Kids parental controls within Facebook. In order for two children to chat, both their parents must approve the connection. Unlike other places on the Web, kids can only chat with people their parent has approved, making Messenger Kids a safer, more controlled environment.
In her post about Messenger Kids, Loren Cheng, Facebook’s product management director, says the idea behind the app is for children to be able to “safely” video chat and message with approved family and friends.
But it will be fun, the product description says. (It even sounds a bit like Snapchat.)
Kid-appropriate masks, frames, stickers and GIFs spark conversation and laughter. With the feature-filled camera, kids can create fun videos and decorate photos to share moments with loved ones.
Messenger Kids is available on Apple products and is coming to Android devices in a few months, but this wide rollout of a “safer” product comes days after a tragedy that illustrates its need.
According to an Action News on 6abc article on Dec. 1, this happened to a girl who’d turned 15 in October:
Philadelphia police say a teenage girl was stabbed approximately 80 times and then set on fire met by a man she met on Facebook.
The body of 15-year-old Sabriya McLean was found in the 200 block of South 49th Street late Tuesday morning.
What do you think, marketers? Do you think charities will also start using Messenger ads, now that NonProfitPRO Editor-in-Chief Nhu Te reports on Monday that Facebook is doing away with its 5 percent fee for “Donate” buttons on pages?
Please respond in the comments section below.
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