This week's 'Skim: Facebook aims for kids under 13 with new Messenger Kids app; Instagram paves path to standalone messaging app, introduces new features for Stories; Twitter expands Twitter Lite to conquer new markets; Facebook reverses ban on pre-roll video ads; why Pinterest's president is stepping down, and who's taking the reins; Periscope pins livestream hopes on virtual tipping; and much more...
Skim for all the latest tips, tricks, and shifts!
1. Starting them young: Facebook launches Messenger for kids
Messenger Kids is like training wheels for social media, and possibly the company's key to roping in the youngest digital natives. Facebook announced the ad-free, no in-app-purchase platform this week, and tackled tough questions about the company's seemingly sneaky approach to target youngsters by saying that, since kids under 13 years old are already using social apps they technically shouldn't be using, at least now parents can have more control.
Parents can set up a Messenger Kids app via the App Store; they must authenticate it with their own Facebook username and password, and they can control both who is on a child's contact list and who appears online. Though the app doesn't collect information for ad targeting, the fact that Facebook can bring children as young as six onto the platform at such an early stage could spell success in new ways.
2. Instagram tests standalone messaging app, could spell the end of the inbox
Instagram this week embarked on a six-country test that replaces its direct messaging feature, a move that could give parent company Facebook a third popular messaging platform to throw up on its shelf alongside Messenger and WhatsApp.