Messenger Kids rolls out a bevy of new parental controls

Facebook today announced several new features for Messenger Kids. Like Messenger Kids in general, these features are meant to give parents (and children themselves) more control over their conversations. The biggest changes come in the form of additions to the Parent Dashboard, which give new capabilities to parents wanting to make sure their children's conversations are on the up-and-up.

In all, there are five new features hitting the Parent Dashboard with this update. Parents will now be able to see their child's recent contacts and chat history, which will also surface information on their child's video chats (if there are any to report). Parents will also be able to see a log of recent images shared both by and with their child, with the ability to remove and report any inappropriate ones.

You'll also be able to see a list of contacts your child has either blocked or reported – Facebook already sends alerts to parents through Messenger whenever their child blocks or reports someone, but it sounds like this list will act as a quick reference. The Parent Dashboard now also allows for remote device logout, and finally, allows parents to request a copy of the information Messenger Kids keeps on their child, much like what Facebook's mainline app allows.

In addition to the new features in the Parent Dashboard, Facebook says that it's giving children more control over who they block. Messenger Kids will now work more or less like Messenger proper when it comes to blocking people, meaning conversations with blocked contacts will stay in the child's message history and that they can unblock people whenever they want. They'll also stay in group conversations with blocked contacts, but they'll be shown alerts and offered the chance to leave those group chats after blocking someone else in them.

We'll also see Facebook roll out a new in-app activity that explains to children how their information is used in age-appropriate language, explaining things like who can see them and what parents can do from the Dashboard. Finally, in light of these new features and in anticipation of features that are on the way, Facebook has updated the privacy policy for Messenger Kids. That new privacy policy can be found on Facebook's website, and parents have 90 days to review it and accept it.