Facebook has announced additional tools and features for parents to manage their child’s experience in Messenger Kids, and is updating the privacy policy. Photo: (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

DURBAN - Facebook has announced additional tools and features for parents to manage their child’s experience in Messenger Kids, and is updating the privacy policy. 

Parents can access these new features in the Messenger Kids Parent Dashboard in the Facebook iOS and Android apps to better understand how their child is using the app.

New Parent Dashboard features include: 

Recent Contacts and Chat History: See who your child is chatting with, whether they are video chatting or sending messages and how frequently those conversations happened over the past 30 days. 

Log of Images in Chats: See the most recent photos and videos your child has sent and received in their inbox. If you believe an image or video is not appropriate for your child, you can remove it from your child’s message thread and report it. 

Reported and Blocked Contacts History: Access a list of the reporting and blocking actions your child has taken in the app. You’ll see a list of the contacts your child has blocked and/or unblocked, if they have reported any messages as well as any contacts they’ve reported and the reason for their action. Parents will continue to be notified via Messenger if their child blocks or reports someone.

Remote Device Logout: See all devices where your child is logged in to Messenger Kids and log out of the app on any device through the Parent Dashboard. 

Download Your Child’s Information: Request a copy of your child’s Messenger Kids information, similar to how you can download your own information within the Facebook app.

Parents can access the Parent Dashboard and all these new features by tapping the shortcut menu in the Facebook app and scrolling to the Messenger Kids icon. If they have multiple kids using Messenger Kids, select the name of the child whose account they would like to manage to access their specific dashboard.

Facebook has updated the way kids block contacts in Messenger Kids to give them a simpler way to manage who they interact with. Kids can now unblock a blocked contact on their own if they want to restart one-on-one chats with them, and chats with blocked contacts will stay in the Messenger Kids inbox so parents can view them if they’d like. 

Parents remain in control of who their child is connected to in Messenger Kids and can remove people from their child’s contact list at any time. 

Like any app, Messenger Kids requires data to operate basic functions, such as to show previous messages in a conversation, put frequent contacts at the top of the contact list and show the devices used to log in to a child’s Messenger Kids account.

Privacy Policy Update

Facebook has updated the Messenger Kids privacy policy to include additional information about our data collection, use, sharing, retention and deletion practices.

The updated policy explains Facebook's privacy practices with regard to the new features and improvements added to Messenger Kids, such as new controls and visibility in the Parent Dashboard. 

Facebook is also planning to enable Messenger Kids users to provide feedback directly in the app when something isn’t working and run user surveys to help improve product features. 

Children’s data from Messenger Kids will not be used for advertising. and there are no ads or in-app purchases in Messenger Kids.