Facebook Junior: The social network explores access for younger kids

It could be because teens don’t like it much or it might just be tired of waiting to hit the billion mark, but whatever the reason, Facebook wants to give young kids access to its social network.

The Menlo Park company has begun developing technology that would allow children 13 and younger to launch their own Facebook profiles, something that is currently not allowed but happens commonly.

In order to comply with federal law, access for those children would come with some form of parental oversight of their account.

Facebook is testing access for younger children that would allow them to control their account but would ultimately give responsibility for managing apps and friends requests to their parents, according to the Wall Street Journal, citing people who have spoken with Facebook executives.


Besides upping its membership count from its current standing of 901 million, the promise of younger members would bring with it more possibilities for ways to generate revenue.

By adding younger children, Facebook would in all likelihood be adding members that have greater interests in its games -- and that could present an opportunity for Facebook to charge access to those apps, according to the report.

Though it isn’t certain that Facebook will eventually launch this service, its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, did make it clear about a year ago that the company would take on the challenge eventually.

And “people familiar with the matter” said Facebook believes it will have to create some sort of system to allow younger children access to avoid regulatory risks, according to the report.


“Many recent reports have highlighted just how difficult it is to enforce age restrictions on the Internet, especially when parents want their children to access online content and services,” the company said in an email statement. “We are in continuous dialogue with stakeholders, regulators and other policymakers about how best to help parents keep their kids safe in an evolving online environment.”


Have your say on Facebook privacy policy

Facebook adds admin roles, scheduled posts to Pages


Facebook claimant Paul Ceglia may lose another set of lawyers

Follow Salvador Rodriguez on Facebook, Twitter or Google+