Facebook – the social networking site headed by Mr. Mark Zuckerberg – has been preparing to release a new teen messaging app – called Talk – that will enable the parents to monitor who their children are in contact with. This move by the social media giant is expected to stop strangers from trawling the internet.
Facebook’s new app will attract many parents, here’s why
The forthcoming service dubbed Talk will be restricted to users 13 years or older, according to technology magazine, the Information. Also, the users would not require their own Facebook profile to be able to use the app, said the tech magazine. The details related to the upcoming service have been found buried in computer code released for the platform of the social media giant.
Safety features to protect children from online grooming and stalking by pedophiles include making sure that the new service will not be publicly searchable. The application will apparently enable parents to completely control who their children are in contact with as well. The new service will be linked to the current Messenger chat application of the social networking site, according to the code spotted inside the platform.
The buried code says “Your child uses the Talk app to chat with you in Messenger” and “Talk is a messaging app where you fully control the contacts.” The social media giant was not immediately available for comment. Also, when news site ‘telegraph’ asked for comment on their new service, the tech company refused. The app would not be searchable by the public but only by the teens who use the application. This could encourage more parents to download the service because of the safety built in.
Facebook using its algorithms to target young users
Parental controls are not really going to persuade the older teens to use the app but the service may prove attractive to parents with younger teens, especially parents who are worried about their inability to monitor what their children get up to online.
The Australian newspaper – The Information – got its hands on documents last month that laid out how the social media giant can assist advertisers in targeting users as young as 14. The document details how the algorithms of the social network can pinpoint moments when young users need a confidence boost, according to Ars Technica. Also, the algorithms can determine when “teenage users express feeling worthless, insecure, or defeated, among other negative emotions. The algorithms also help advertisers determine when young users want to look good or feel better about their bodies.”
The tech giant even admitted to such research but it added that the data is not being used by any advertisers.