What It Is:
Facebook Messenger is a simple mobile messaging app that takes the Facebook messaging feature outside of Facebook and onto its own platform
What It Does:
It is, quite literally, the messaging feature of Facebook in app form for your mobile device. Since you can also message people who are outside of your Facebook friends network, it works as an alternative to your phone/mobile device’s text messaging application.
Facebook Messenger also allows you to make phone calls to other Messenger users.
Would My Child Want It?:
If your child uses Facebook and has a mobile device, they’re probably already being begged by Facebook to use Facebook Messenger.
Where Can It Be Used?:
On mobile phones.
What Should I Watch Out For?:
- Facebook Messenger has the option to enable locations, letting those you interact with know where you are.
- As with all their applications, Facebook utilizes extensive data mining to tailor your Facebook experience and to sell to marketers.
- If you make a phone call through Facebook Messenger and are not connected to the internet, your call will be placed through your data plan (as opposed to making a call over the phone, where you generally have unlimited minutes).
What Are The Positives?:
- Makes it easier to use the messages function of Facebook.
- Instead of needing to check your Facebook page/app, push notifications come directly to your phone to let you know when someone has sent you a message.
- The ability to make voice calls to Facebook friends via the internet can have international benefits.
What Are The Negatives?:
- By using Facebook Messenger, you give Facebook your phone number (and therefore another platform for them to sell to marketers).
- The same negative as other texting platforms—overuse or over-reliance on it as a means of communication.
What We Think:
Since Facebook Messenger is merely an extension of the regular Facebook service, then if you’re comfortable with your child being on Facebook, you’ll probably also be comfortable with them using Facebook Messenger.