The Messenger Kids app from Facebook is expanding significantly: the software is now available in more than an additional 70 countries around the world. Support for even more markets is coming soon, according to the announcement. At the same time, the software has been refreshed with several new features, including Supervised Friending.

New markets

Launched in December 2017, Messenger Kids is a special version of the messaging and video chat software that lets kids connect with friends and family in a  parent-controlled space.

“Starting today, kids in more than 70 new countries around the world can use Messenger Kids, with more coming soon,” Facebook wrote in the announcement. Visit Facebook’s help article for the full list of countries where the app is currently available.

New features

The following new features were added to Messenger Kids:

Supervised Friending

Facebook explains:

Parents have told us they want to be able to give their kids more independence in managing their contact list while still maintaining parental supervision. Previously, it was up to parents to invite and approve every contact for their child.

Now with Supervised Friending, parents can choose to allow their kids to also accept, reject add or remove contacts, while maintaining the ability to override any new contact approvals from the Parent Dashboard.

It’s rolling out today in the US and coming gradually to the rest of the world.

According to a help article on Facebook’s website, parents receive a Messenger notification when their kid takes a friending action. They can then override any new connections made in their Parent Dashboard, where they can also see a log of recent activities.

Kid groups

Connection kids through groups is another new feature of Messenger Kids.

According to Facebook’s help article, connecting your junior via a group lets them chat with other kids individually, leave groups they’ve been added to at any time and so forth.

Kids often build community through their classes at school, participating in a team sport or other extracurricular activities. Just as parents allow a teacher or coach to help their child navigate classroom or team friendships, this new feature gives parents the choice to approve a similar adult to help connect their child with other kids through a group.

Any approved adult, such as a kid’s teacher or a coach, is only allowed to connect children whose parents have also granted this adult the same approval. Parents can manage the list of approved  individuals through the app’s Parent Dashboard.

You can access this feature at facebook.com/messenger_kids/deeplink/connector.

Tidbits

Facebook notes that parents in the US, Canada and Latin America can now make their kid’s name and profile photo visible to the following types of users:

  • Friends of their kid’s contacts and their parents
  • Kids of the parent’s Facebook friends
  • Kids of people parents invite to download the Messenger Kids app

Lastly, parents are advised to use the parental controls built into Messenger Kids to fully control the experience, as well as manage and monitor their kid’s interactions.

These and other useful controls, including downloading your child’s account data, are available through the app’s Parent Dashboard feature.

Pricing and availability

To learn more about the app, visit messengerkids.com.

Available in select regions, Messenger Kids is a free download from App Store.