Facebook Messenger Kids App Gets Sleep Mode Parental Control

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The new sleep mode will allow parents to set predetermined times that Messenger Kids can not be used, whether that's a blocked out time for homework, during the night, or other times decided upon by the guardian. Sleep mode is controlled from the Parent Control center in the parent's Facebook account and the "off times" can be changed at any time.

When the Messenger Kids app is in Sleep Mode, kids will be unable to send or receive messages or video calls. Kids using the app will see a bar at the top of the screen with a 10-minute countdown before the app goes into sleep mode, so they can wind down conversations. The new feature lets parents set parameters for when their kids can and can't use the app. Go to the Messenger Kids controls in the main Facebook app. Tap on the child's name, and then on Sleep Mode in the App Controls' section.

"There are times when families might want to set off time when the devices are down", Antigone Davis, Facebook's global head of safety, said during a press briefing Thursday. You can set different times for weekdays versus weekends.

Facebook has its own Messenger app dedicated to Kids named with Facebook Messenger Kids. Still, some parents found disturbing videos were making it into the app and were viewable because they were not caught by the human curators.

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Facebook is under intense scrutiny after last month's scandal involving Cambridge Analytica, a digital consultancy that improperly accessed 87 million Facebook users' data without their consent. It can be found within the parental control panel.

Parents provided feedback to Facebook regarding Messenger Kids that controls to make the app inaccessible during times like dinner or bedtime. This function will provide for an even more contained experience on the app. Starting this week, turning the search option off within the app will limit the channels children can access to a roster that has been verified by the YouTube Kids team.

For more information about Messenger Kids, visit MessengerKids.com or follow the Facebook page for updates.