Facebook recently announced Messenger Kids, an app specifically designed for privacy-conscientious parents who prefer a safe way to allow their kids chat with friends online. Messenger Kids paves a way for doing so, providing an adult full control over a child’s contact list and who they can talk to, all without having to create a full-fledged Facebook account.
An update to the app finally addresses a concern that parents have had until now: being able to manage when their kids can access the service.
With the new feature, appropriately dubbed ‘Sleep Mode,’ parents can specify a time during the day or week when the app becomes inaccessible. During that time, kids won’t be able to send or receive messages or video calls, play with the app’s ‘creative camera,’ or receive any notifications. If they do open the app while Sleep Mode is enabled, they’ll be greeted with a message telling them that Messenger Kids is disabled and to come back later.
Like most other settings in Messenger Kids, parents can use the Parent Control center in their own Facebook account — either through the app or the web — to toggle and adjust Sleep Mode. Sleep Mode is obviously well-suited for ensuring kids adhere to their bedtime schedule, but it can also be useful during other occasions when a parent would like the app to become off-limits, such as during dinner or until homework is finished.