Facebook has launched a new messaging app aimed at kids 13 and under that give parents control over who their kids talk to.

The app, called Messenger Kids, is available for download. Kids don't need a Facebook account to use it, but they can communicate with other kids on the app and people with Facebook messenger - as long as their parents approve it. 

The parental control is a key feature and distinguishes Messenger Kids from other apps like Snapchat and WhatsApp that allow anyone with the app to communicate with a child, without parental knowledge.

According to TechCrunch, "special proactive detection safety filters prevent children from sharing nudity, sexual content, or violence, while a dedicated support team will respond quickly to reported or flagged content. Facebook even manually sifted Giphy to build a kid-friendly version of the GIF sharing engine."

The app is designed to offer an additional level of safety and to prevent the cyberbullying that occurs frequently online.

Facebook announced the launch of the new app in a post.

Today, we're excited to introduce Messenger Kids, a new app that makes it easier for kids to safely video chat and message with family and friends when they can't be together in person. Millions of parents are part of Messenger community and they asked us for controllable solutions that let them message with their children. We heard that they were looking for better apps for their children to use and from there, we worked directly with parents and kids along with experts in child development, online safety and children's media to help build our first app for kids.

Messenger Kids is a standalone app that lives on kids' tablets or smartphones but can be controlled from a parent's Facebook account. Whether it's using video chat to talk to grandparents, staying in touch with cousins who live far away, or sending mom a decorated photo while she's working late to say hi, Messenger Kids opens up a new world of online communication to families. Plus, it's FUN for kids to use!


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