Facebook last year launched an app for Messenger geared towards children. Today, Messenger for Kids has now opened up a little to allow for the addition of new friends via friend requests, albeit in its own unique way.
This can be done with a tool called passphrases, a feature that can be turned on by parents. Once activated, a child’s account ill now generates a four-word phrase which they will show to another child so that they can enter it into their app and initiate contact. Before they can start chatting, however, Facebook still requires parents to approve all contacts, keeping with the child-friendly nature of the app.
This update will be rolling out to users of this app on Android and iOS today.
While Facebook Messenger Kids has been a controversial app, with opposition from child safety groups, changes like this are unlikely to sway them. It is not the feature set of Messenger Kids that they are opposed to as Engadget points out, it’s very existence poses a problem. Facebook will have to show that its app isn’t harmful to counter such opposition, and that’s going to need some work.