How to Use Facebook's Messenger Kids App

Get started with this free, fun, parent-controlled social app

Social networking has become an everyday part of life for kids, teens, and adults alike. While teens enjoy social apps like Instagram and Snapchat, and Facebook is geared toward adults, Facebook's Messenger Kids is an ideal introduction to online communication for kids aged 6 to 12. Here's some information about Messenger Kids and how parents can get their children up and running.

Parents and other trusted adults use their own Messenger account to message and video chat with a child who's using Messenger Kids.

What Is Messenger Kids?

Messenger Kids is a free video calling and messaging app for iOS and Android devices as well as Fire tablets. With parental controls and kid-friendly features, Messenger Kids offers children all the fun of digital communication in a safely controlled environment.

Parents set up and manage their child's Messenger Kids account through their own Facebook account, and Mom and Dad control their child's contact list.

Parents don't have to worry about ads, in-app purchases, or any Facebook tie-ins for their kids.

Messenger Kids Safety Features

Safety and privacy are paramount concerns in Messenger Kids. Parents set controls and review and manage their kids’ contacts via a Parent Dashboard. Children can block or report an unwanted contact, and when they do so, their parents will be notified.

Parents approve all contacts their child wants to add and can remove any contact at any time. Set the app to sleep mode during times you don't want your child using the app, such as homework time or bedtime.

Messages in Messenger Kids don't disappear and can't be hidden, so parents can check in on their child's activity.

Messenger Kids complies with the government's COPPA rules, which limits the collection and use of information on children under age 13. 

Messenger Kids Fun Features

Messenger Kids gives children a fun and creative experience with kid-appropriate stickers, GIFs, frames and emojis for creative expression.

Child users can make one-on-one or group video calls using fun, interactive masks, and the feature-filled camera lets kids create videos and decorate photos to share with loved ones.

How to Set up Messenger Kids

Parents download Messenger Kids to their child's iOS device, Android device, or Fire tablet, but manage contacts and changes via Facebook on their own device. This ensures that parents remain fully in control. Here's how to get started.

Download Messenger Kids from the App StoreAmazon Appstore, or Google Play Store.

  1. Download the Messenger Kids app onto your child's smartphone or tablet and then open the app.

  2. Select Next.

  3. Tap Confirm to confirm that you're a parent or guardian.

    Messenger kids
  4. Input your Facebook password to authorize the device.

  5. Enter your child's first and last name and select Continue.

  6. Enter your child's birthday and select Continue.

    Messenger kids
  7. Read through the list of Things We Want You to Know, and then select Create Account.

  8. Choose kids for your child to chat with (or skip this step).

  9. Send invites to the parents of your child's potential friends (or skip this step).

    Messenger Kids account setup.
  10. Choose adults for your child to chat with, or skip this step.

  11. Add another parent or guardian, if you wish

  12. If you like, turn on a code your child can use to give to friends to easily request permission to be a contact. Select Turn on Code or Not Now.

  13. Tap Allow Access to send notifications, save and send photos and video, and access the camera and microphone.

  14. Select We Agree to accept Messenger Kids rules about kindness, respect, and safety.

    Messenger Kids account setup

What a Child Can Do to Personalize the App

The next steps should be completed by your child.

  1. Tap Take a Photo to take your profile picture (or you can choose a photo).

  2. Choose a color to decorate your app and select Continue.

  3. Tap Next to move to an exploration of the Messenger Kids app.

  4. Your app is set up and you can now add friends, play a game, and learn more about the app

    setting up Messenger Kids app.

Manage Your Child's Messenger Kids Account

Parents access and manage their child's Messenger Kids account from their own Facebook account.

  1. Open the Facebook app on your mobile device.

  2. Tap the three horizontal lines to open the Menu.

  3. Tap your child's name.

  4. Tap Activity to view your child’s recent contacts, groups, reports, blocked contacts, and images in chats.

  5. Tap Contacts to add and remove contacts.

  6. Tap Controls to access parental controls and add additional parents or guardians.

    Messenger Kids parental controls
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