As Facebook tries to bring post-millennials onto its platform, the social media network appears to be at work on a feature geared toward high school students. With “High School Networks for Messenger,” the company may be seeking to connect students with their classmates, The Next Web (TNW) reported.
At the moment, the feature appears to be hidden and doesn’t appear to be live in the current version of Messenger available on the App Store. But TNW’s sources decompiled the app and found the feature. In addition, computer scientist Jane Wong uncovered some text strings that suggest how the feature may work. Through the new feature, users might be able to join chat networks for a specific class and see grades through the platform. In addition, the feature may facilitate the sending of school reports from teachers to students.
The news comes as Facebook is looking to get consumers hooked at a young age by rolling out a new messaging app for kids between the ages of six and 12. According to news in The Wall Street Journal, Messenger Kids is a standalone chat and messaging app, enabling children to send texts, messages and videos to contacts approved by their parents. The mobile app can be downloaded on a tablet or smartphone, activated and then controlled through a parent’s account.
In creating that app, the social media giant said it consulted child development and online safety experts, as well as parent/teacher groups and thousands of parents. Facebook stated that data collected will only include children’s names.
“What parents told us is there is a clear need for a service that looks like a responsible on-ramp to the internet,” Facebook spokesman William Nevius told the Wall Street Journal. Facebook believes there is a need for such an app. By launching Messenger Kids, the company can prepare the next generation of users to utilize the platform.