Zift Advisory

This App Contains...
In App Purchases
Live Streaming
Videos can be shared
Location Tracking
Photo Sharing
Photo sending/receiving
Stranger Danger
Interacting with strangers

Parent Rating

Facebook Messenger is a communication app that allows users to message and call users for free. The Facebook Messenger app is free to download in iTunes and Google Play and features ads and in-app purchases. While this app is rated for users of all ages, we recommend it only for responsible teens and adults.

About Messenger – Text and Video Chat for Free
In-App Purchases

What is Messenger – Text and Video Chat for Free?

Messenger (formerly Facebook Messenger) is a communication app that allows users to message/call others without having to pay, although data charges for accessing Wi-Fi may still apply. 

Users can message multiple people by creating groups, sharing videos, GIFs, photos and more.

Users can sign up for Messenger without a Facebook account, and the service supported 1.2 billion active users as of April 2017.

Is Messenger – Text and Video Chat for Free safe for my kids?

Facebook's Messenger is safe for responsible teens, though parents should be cautioned that the safety of this app is similar to other messenger apps & depends largely on the individual user. 

Parents should know that Messenger shows a user’s location, unless location settings have been turned off, and there is actually no way for users to shutdown the application. 

They can opt not to receive notifications or appear online in their friends’ contact lists, but the only way to actually shut down the app is to manually clear its data via the application settings menu on your mobile device or tablet. 

Facebook has an extensive history of aggressively mining user activity for marketing data and then selling targeted ads based on that information. Additionally, if consumerism is a concern for your family, you should know that the company began testing showing ads within the Messenger app in January 2017.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a nonprofit advocacy group that focuses on privacy and user rights, awarded Messenger a two on its seven-point Secure Messaging Scorecard. 

While communications are encrypted while traveling between users and the company has opened its software to independent security audits, there were several areas in which Messenger lost points: 

  • Facebook is able to decrypt and read messages, if it so chooses.
  • Users cannot verify the identity of the people they’re speaking with.
  • Past messages were not secure in the case of stolen encryption keys.
  • The app's source code is not open for independent review.
  • Its security design is not properly documented.

Parents should be aware that Messenger offers in-app purchases, so be sure to review rules with kids about what's acceptable for your family's spending beforehand.

App Screens

Messenger – Text and Video Chat for Free Parent Rating

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    Reviews: 3

  • Terry M.

    This app is fine as long as they're old enough to have a Facebook account

  • Camila R.

    My kids use this to quickly message each other. They like it.

  • Erin H.

    Easy to use, but probably only a good idea for teens.