Facebook on Monday announced a brand new app for iPhone and iPad that’s targeting children. The Messenger Kids app should be used by those children who are too young to actually have a full Facebook account, and it can be an excellent tool for parents to shield their kids from everything that’s happening on the giant social network until they come of age.
At the same time, the Messenger Kids is a devious plot to get an entire generation of users hooked on the miracles of Facebook. It’s a brilliant strategy to ensure that the next generations of humans get a taste of Facebook well before making up their own minds whether they want to be part of the social network or not.
Don’t get me wrong, the fact that parents gain complete control over what their young ones are doing online, especially when it comes to Facebook, is a great Messenger feature. Facebook says it’s been pouring a lot of resources into it as well, to prevent any kind of abuse and ensure a great environment for children who want to chat with their family and friends using one of the most popular chat apps out there. And that’s undoubtedly commendable.
At the same time, the side-effect here is pretty obvious: getting more Facebook users both in the short and long runs.
Know any parents who aren’t on Facebook, and whose kids want to chat using Messenger Kids with your children? Those parents will have to get a full Facebook account and befriend you before your children can play together on Messenger Kids. That’s all it takes to convince those young adults who, for various reasons, keep avoiding Facebook, to join the social network. Of course, for them, there’s always the alternative of not signing up for Facebook and Messenger Kids.
But what’s really smart about the app is that’ll soon convert droves of children to sign up for Facebook and experience all its features, including the full-fledged version of Messenger. That’s a brilliant move to force a new generation into the biggest social network in the world and ensure growth for the company. And it all happens without the users feeling forced to do it.
There are many reasons to criticize Facebook and to want to avoid it just as there are many reasons to join it and keep using it in spite of the various Facebook scandals out there. And the young minds of children, who can’t yet comprehend what using a social network means, can easily be converted to Facebook.
With Messenger Kids, as noble as its intentions are, Facebook is simply planting a seed, preordering a brand new batch of Facebook users.
Messenger Kids is available for download at this link but only for iPhone and iPad. An Android version should follow in the future.