Yesterday, Facebook launched Messenger Kids, a text/video chat app geared towards children 13-and-under, to capture new users who aren’t old enough to have their own FB profiles.
Sounds creepy, but then again, MK also comes with beefed-up parental controls (parents of both kids have to approve “playdates”) — which frankly, is a lot more oversight than we had as pre-teens on AIM.
Teens… Facebook’s final frontier
The 18-and-under age group is the last demographic where Snapchat still has the upper hand.
Teen user growth on Facebook’s flagship product has stagnated in the past few years as Gen Z’ers increasingly gravitate towards more intimate-feeling messaging platforms (re: Snapchat), rather than public-facing social media.
Messenger Kids offers a new channel to introduce young users to FB’s brand through a messenger product, rather than its flagship profile and News Feed.
Their “teens team” has gotta be feeling pretty angsty right now
Last year, FB expanded its “Youth Team” to 100+ people last year, all trying to figure out “what the kids are into” — but so far, they haven’t been able to nail it down.
The teens-only “Lifestage” app it released for high schoolers last year got “relatively little attention” (as in, no one knew it existed). So time will tell if Messenger Kids is the hit they’re looking for to grab the next generation of F-book lovers.