Get the latest market trends in your inbox

Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with the Axios Markets newsletter. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Minneapolis-St. Paul

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa-St. Petersburg news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa-St. Petersburg

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Facebook's new Messenger Kids app includes video and text messaging and tight parental controls. Images via Facebook

Facebook is launching a kids-focused messaging app with tight parental controls that includes group video chat in the vein of Houseparty, the video chat application popular with young people that Facebook has had in its sights for a year.

Why it matters: Facebook is always trying to make sure that the next generation is using its services, hence its purchases of Instagram and WhatsApp as well as its repeated efforts to clone popular features from Snapchat.

The details:

  • Messenger Kids includes video chat with more than two people, the core feature of Houseparty and one that is also available in the adult version of Messenger. The company has been testing broader Houseparty-style functionality for months which allows users to join an ongoing video chat. Like the adult Messenger app, it includes Snapchat-style effects to put over your video. It also has text messaging.
  • Parents will have to approve all of the requests their children send to other users. Those requests will have to be approved by a parent of the other child, as well. The application doesn't have ads and you can't buy anything in the app.
  • Earlier this year, The Information broke the story that Facebook was developing a messaging app for teenagers.

What they're saying: "Messenger Kids is full of features for kids to connect with the people they love. … Messenger Kids gives parents more control," said Product Management Director Loren Cheng in a blog post. In a separate post, the company's top safety official, Antigone Davis, said that the "largest social media platform in the world has the opportunity and obligation to address" questions and concerns about the increasingly common ways children lead their lives online. The company says the application is compatible with the Children's Online Privacy and Protection Act.

What they're not saying: Facebook has struggled in recent years to attract the sort of teen users that fueled Snapchat's rise into a formidable competitor of Facebook-owned Instagram. This introduces those users to Facebook's ecosystem — although not yet to its core product.

Go deeper

1 hour ago - Podcasts

Former Georgia Gov. Roy Barnes on the Senate runoffs

The future of U.S. politics, and all that flows from it, is in the hands of Georgia voters when they vote in two Senate runoffs on January 5.

Axios Re:Cap digs into the election dynamics with former Georgia Gov. Roy Barnes, a Democrat who served between 1999 and 2003.

1 hour ago - Health

Cuomo orders emergency hospital protocols as COVID capacity dwindles

Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D). Photo: Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Monday that struggling state hospital systems must transfer patients to sites that are not nearing capacity, as rising coronavirus cases and hospitalizations strain medical resources.

Why it matters: New York does not expect to get the same kind of help from thousands of out-of-state doctors and nurses that it got this spring, Cuomo acknowledged, as most of the country battles skyrocketing COVID hospitalizations and infections.

Arizona certifies Biden's win

Photo: Demetrius Freeman/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Arizona officials certified the state's presidential election results on Monday, paving the way for President-elect Joe Biden to be awarded its 11 electoral votes.

Why it matters: The move deals yet another blow to President Trump's efforts to block or delay certification in key swing states that he lost. Biden beat the president in Arizona by more than 10,000 votes.