Hide yo kids! Facebook officially wants to get children under 13 to join it

Facebook may have given up its teen audience to Tumblr and Instagram, but its making a big play for the next generation of teens.

AdAge reports that Facebook is looking for a way to legally get children under 13-years-old onto its user network. It was previously illegal for children under 13 to be on Facebook, although as anyone with an irritating kid cousin will tell you, this was pretty loosely enforced.

AdAge reports:

In a patent application filed in November of 2012 and made public yesterday, Facebook describes a system to let parents authorize and supervise accounts for younger children in compliance with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. That law regulates how websites and apps can collect data from children younger than 13 and calls for “verifiable parental consent” from publishers that do.

This is a pretty huge opportunity for Facebook. if it can become the first social media network kids use, it will most likely be able to keep them around forever. And let’s not forget how lucrative impressionable children are to the advertisers, especially those making toys, games, candy and TV shows. We’re looking at tons of engagement from a very young audience. However, it could still be a while before this comes to pass. As the article mentions, Facebook is still trying to work out exactly how kids can be present on it. Possible options include linking their accounts to their parents and restricted access to the rest of the network.

But even if it might be an early platfom for kids, there’s no guarantee they’ll stay there. After all, if you’re on a social media network that you can only access with your mom’s permission, it isn’t really very cool, is it?

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