Facebook released several holiday-related features for its stand-alone Messenger Kids application, including the ability for parents to play Santa.
Special artwork and effects for the holidays were created exclusively for Messenger Kids, including masks, filters and stickers.
Messenger Kids product manager Morgan Brown said in a blog post that kids can enjoy “rocking out as the dancing Santa; learning about Hanukkah using the menorah filter; adding the celebratory Kwanzaa frame to a photo; or ringing in the new year with the 2020 fireworks and confetti filter.”
He added that new masks and filters will be introduced throughout the holiday season.
Messenger Kids also added the ability for parents to message their kids as Santa, directly via Messenger.
They can send their kids messages via Messenger that will show up in Messenger Kids as if they are coming from Santa Claus.
Brown said parents can kick off conversations with questions such as, “What are you thankful for?” and “What is something you were proud of in 2019?” Kids can then respond to “Santa.”
Video chat is not enabled when using this feature, and the only messages kids will receive in these conversations will come from their parents.
In addition, Messenger notifications are disabled for responses to Santa, in order to “help preserve the magic” if kids are using Messenger Kids on devices belonging to their parents.
Messenger Kids debuted in December 2017 as a way for kids to access some of the basic features of Facebook’s flagship Messenger app, but with complete parental control and oversight.