How to Use Facebook’s Messenger Kids

Do you talk to kids? Whether you’re a parent of a kid, or you just know kids in your life and want to stay connected, there’s a relatively new way to use our dear friend technology to chat with them.

Commence with the wringing of parental hands.

Click here to jump down to a resource link for how parents can protect kids online.

Big Bang theory breathing into bag
Being a parent is hard.

A Parental Preamble (or just skip to the how-to part)

As a mom, and especially one who uses technology on an almost minute-by-minute basis for work and play, I want my kids to appreciate its power as well as its pitfalls. My kids don’t have their own smartphones yet, but they do have their own laptops. They have their own email addresses, which I monitor closely. We allow them to watch YouTube videos, but we often will play them during common family times so we can ensure the content isn’t too mature for their increasingly aware minds.

My intent as a parent is to balance my support of the kids’ use of technology with a healthy dose of trembling awe. So it was with no small amount of hesitation that I finally ushered us into the realm of Messenger Kids by Facebook.

This post will be rife with my own tones of paranoia and hesitation, which I intentionally left in. The gravity of handing over a new part of the internet to our kids is not (in my humble yet strong opinion) meant to be taken lightly.

OK, here we go.

Go to Messenger Kids to create the account(s).

Facebook has (maybe too) conveniently put Messenger Kids in the Explore section on the left sidebar. You can also go to the Messenger Kids dashboard to get started: www.facebook.com/messenger_kids/dashboard/.

Once there, you’ll be asked to create an account for a child by entering their first and last name. Facebook, likely realizing this is a big step for parents who rightly realize the power of their data access and reach is causing anxiety, tells you up front that this action will not create a Facebook profile for the child.

Next is a screen which reassures you of the control you, as the account creator*, will have over the child’s contacts and content. It also tells you what information Facebook will store from use of this app.

*Notice I didn’t use the word “parent” here. There is no part along this process where the account creator is asked to verify if they are a parent, caregiver, or guardian of the child being added to Messenger Kids. There is only a message at the bottom of the image provided where Facebook indicates this should be a parent or guardian completing this process.

The final screen is a prompt for you to download the Messenger Kids app onto a mobile device. The kid being added must use Messenger Kids from a mobile device, which includes a Kindle reader.

Since my kids don’t have smartphones yet, the Kindle reader is their sole option to use Messenger Kids.

Your final step is to add approved contacts to your child’s Messenger Kids account. You will be able to add Family Members, Other Kids, Your Friends, and you can also invite others to use Messenger to connect with your kid(s). Once you add a contact, that person will receive a Facebook message that your kid is now available for chat.

Getting the Kids Started

Now that the kid’s account has been set up by a parent or guardian (hopefully), the app must be set up on the child’s device(s).

You can download the Messenger Kids app for iOS (Apple), Android, or Kindle (Amazon).

Once the app is installed on the mobile device or reader, you (the account creator) have one final step: you must authorize the use of the app by logging in using your Facebook username and password. This lets Facebook know the child hasn’t tried to set up an account without your permission.

Now you’re ready to hand the device to your kid! They’ll be prompted to take a photo of themselves for their profile image. (My child opted for one of her stuffed animals, which in light of the concerns I wallow in was just fine with me.)

Their home screen is a dashboard of contact tiles, each showing if the person is online and available for messages or even video chats. There are also prompts along the top for taking a picture or starting a group chat.

How Do You Message Kids Who Are On Messenger Kids?

(This was the part I couldn’t figure out until we got the kids full set up on their devices, so make sure you finish those steps first.)

If you’re an adult who has either created or been added to the child’s Messenger Kids account as an approved contact, you will be able to use standalone Messenger (the app or the web version) or Facebook chat to message the kid. You will only be able to do this if the account creator has added you as an approved contact; you will not be able to search for the child’s account to start messaging them. (Whew.)

Your chat with anyone using Messenger Kids appears alongside all of your other Messenger chats, so the interaction is fairly seamless.

You will not need to download the Messenger Kids app to chat with the child who has been set up on the service. That app is solely for the child to use to chat with their approved contacts on Messenger.

How to Manage Messenger Kids for Your Kids

If you created accounts for your children, you will always be able to go to the Dashboard to manage their contacts or delete their account if necessary.

Additionally, Messenger Kids will alert you via Messenger every time someone sends a message to your child’s account. This works the same as any other Messenger chat where you can manage your notifications. As a parent who sees each email my children receive, I like this level of oversight.

Other Messenger Kids Features

  • GIFs and frames for photos
  • Ability for your child or the account creator to report a chat
  • Ability for your child to block anyone they don’t want to chat with

More about the app, its capabilities, and any data information around it can be found on the Messenger Kids website: https://messengerkids.com


Also check out The Ultimate Parent Guide for Protecting Your Child on the Internet


Will you set up your child on Messenger Kids… or have you already? Let me know what you think about it!

July 2016 | What’s Happening in Social Media? (Live Video Show)

Have you heard what’s happening in social media this month? Your updates are in this month’s episode of Laugh & Learn hosted by Really Social:

 

 

 

In this livestream, hear the latest about:

  • Snapchat Memories;
  • Twitter Live broadcasts;
  • New GIF size limits for Twitter;
  • Facebook Messenger encryption;
  • Facebook Live video becoming breaking news;
  • Measuring Facebook Ads through Offline Conversion API and In-Store Visit Measurement;
  • Pinterest object recognition to help shoppers find items for sale;
  • and a new private livestreaming app called Peek.

Enjoy the episode and please comment below with any questions or topic suggestions! If you need additional help with any of these topics, please connect with us about social media training.

How to Find and Use Your Facebook Messenger Code

Social media platforms are going all-in for private messaging. With apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Snapchat seeing exponential growth in mere months, it should be no surprise that Facebook has stepped up its game for people to connect easily on Messenger.

Did you know Facebook Messenger has its own website?

Using your Messenger code takes a little bit of know-how, and we’ll walk you through how to find your code, share your code, and use a code to communicate through Messenger.

How to find your Facebook profile’s Messenger code

Want a visual guide? This video will walk you through how to find your Facebook Profile’s Messenger Code.

You must use your mobile device to find your Facebook Messenger code.

  • You will need to download and install the Facebook Messenger app on your mobile device. Facebook is pushing all Messenger users to use the app exclusively for direct communications.
  • Once you sign in, click on the upper right person icon. Facebook Messenger app navigation (image)
  • Your Facebook Messenger code for your personal profile will appear with your profile picture in the center. You will also be provided with a direct link to your Facebook Messenger.

Save, Share, or Scan a code:

Click on your Messenger code to see the following options:

  • Save/Share Your Code:
    • Tap the My Code tab.
    • Tap your Messenger code to see options to save or share your code.
  • Scan a Code:
    • Tap the Scan Code tab.
    • Your device will open a scan feature which allows you to capture another Profile or Page Messenger code to open a Facebook Message to that Profile or Page.

How to find your Page’s Messenger code

You can find your Facebook Page Messenger code via desktop or mobile.

Via Mobile:

  • Go into your device’s Facebook Pages Manager app.
  • Select the Page with the code you wish to find.
  • Facebook Pages Manager app | Messages navigationOnce you’re on the selected Page, click on the Messages icon along the top.
  • Now, along the top, you should see the Messenger icon (two nested circles of broken lines).
  • Click on the Messenger icon to view and share your Messenger code or Messenger link.

Via Desktop:

  • Go to your Facebook Page and click on the Messages tab along the top (only a Page Admin will be able to view this option).
  • Once you’re in the Messages tab, click on the small information icon along the bottom.
  • A pop-up window will open revealing your Facebook Messenger code for the Facebook Page.
  • Facebook Messenger Code for Really Social's Facebook PageClick the code symbol to download a PNG version of your Facebook Page’s Messenger code to embed onto your website or blog, add to your email signature, or share via social media.

Use Your Messenger Code

Remember when we said that social media platforms are going all-in for private messaging? That’s because the effectiveness and popularity of private media or dark social is impossible to ignore. With open rates of 98% and overall growth of the biggest four messaging apps exceeding the growth of the biggest four social media apps, private messaging should be part of your social media strategy.

Once you have your Messenger code, there are several ways to share it with your audiences and customers:

  • Add your code to your email signature.
  • Embed your code (hyperlinked with your Messenger link) on your blog or website.
  • Add your code to your business cards.
  • Use your code as your social media profile image.
  • Get a tattoo of your code! (OK, not really. Just checking to see if you’re still reading.)

Want to see how this all works? Try scanning the Really Social Messenger code above to get started!

Private Messaging | When & Where to Use Social Media

Private Messaging has also been called Dark Social and Private Media, but the results for businesses from private communications over digital are blinding:

Over 2.5 billion people have at least one messaging app installed, and that’s projected to reach 3.6 billion within the next five years (over half of the human race).

To learn more, join us live on

Laugh & Learn with Really Social

Private Messaging

Noon MDT

Join live to ask questions!

Why Private Messages Should Be Your #1 Goal

Social media has been a great tool over the years to spread the word.

We’ve all become very savvy at typing a post, creating an image or video, generating a hashtag or two, and scheduling or publishing posts that share content out to whatever audience is relevant to us.

For a while, that process seemed difficult. Now many people are very skilled at creating outbound content, and businesses are either executing a social media strategy themselves or hiring someone to do it for them.

The problem arises when individuals, brands, or businesses assume that social media is a one-way hose used to distribute their content to other people. Their communication goes in one direction: outward. In fact, social media was never intended to be used only for outbound, and times are reminding us of that reality.

Enter the private messages.

We’ve seen social platforms begin to invest mightily in the ability for users to interact with each other privately.

Facebook recently made mighty steps and investments to develop Facebook Messenger, even going so far as to push Facebook users to a dedicated messenger app instead of using the feature within the standard mobile application.  There’s even a dedicated website just for people to use Facebook Messenger to connect with each other.

Snapchat is now second place only to Facebook and is used primarily as a messaging app. Users are encouraged to connect one-on-one with each other through private snaps or messages.

WhatsApp is another messaging service that allows people to connect not just through text but also voice, video, and emojis.

These are just a few of the top competitors for the messaging space, and more features are constantly being rolled out to enhance user experience: encryption, creative tools for self-expression, and third-party discovery apps to help users find each other based on interests.

Image - private messages in Snapchat
Private Snaps or messages in Snapchat are the ultimate relationship goal.

Why are private messages important to you?

Because they eradicate that notion of the one-way content:

  • Private messages are the intake conduit for your customers, your friends, and your fans to interact with you authentically.
  • They are opportunities for you to create relationships and generate rapport with the people who are vital to your livelihood.
  • Private messages are what connects us as human beings, one to another, and often removes or exposes higher agendas so that genuine relationships can be formed.

If the message (ha!) still isn’t getting through, let’s paint another picture:

Let’s pretend or assume you run your business or mission from a brick-and-mortar location. You’ve got great signage: a fabulous looking sign over your entry which can be seen from the highway; an attractive storefront; clear messaging to show visitors where to find what they need; even an overhead announcement system to alert customers of special deals!

If a customer walks up to you and asks you where to find the sunflower seeds, you do one of two things:

  • Let them finish their question, and then respond by telling them about your July 4th sale on garden shears… or
  • Ignore them completely as you continue snapping pictures to share on your brand’s Instagram account.

If you cringe at that visual, we’re on the same page. This is why private messages are vital: they’re equivalent to a customer approaching you to interact. You have an open door to win their loyalty, provide a resource, and create a relationship that lasts.

Or you could keep working on that next great outbound post.

A special message

For brands and businesses which have been primarily focused on outbound-only messages and have not yet focused on incoming private messages: STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING.

Jon Stewart's head explosion animated GIF
89% of social media messages to brands go ignored…

You’re missing the forest for the trees. You’re casting your line into a vast lake without realizing the fish are trying to jump into your boat. You’re spraying down everything around you with your one-way hose and completely missing the opportunities of people trying to reach back to you.

Recent statistics indicate 89% of brands on social media never respond to incoming comments questions or complaints.

Do you get what this means?  The opportunity is now for you to set yourself apart and be that presence which responds to each person with relationship as your intention.  For your potential and existing customers and followers, relationship wins every time.

 

If you need help with how to set up your processes for responding to private messages and even public comments received through social media, let’s chat. I promise to answer your message. ??