New Facebook messaging app for teens
The parental controls in the new Facebook messaging app may turn some teens off.REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Facebook is working on a new messaging app to protect teenagers from online bullying and exploitation. The app, called Talk, will allow parents to monitor and control their children's contacts while it will be closed to strangers looking to take advantage of vulnerable teens on the internet.

The app, which will be restricted to those who are 13-years-old and above, won't require users to have a Facebook profile to use it. In addition, the app cannot be searched by general public, but just by teenagers who use it.

The details about Talk were found inside software code of the main app, revealing signs of parental controls over who their children are in contact with. The code buried inside the app suggests that the new service would be connected to Facebook Messenger chat application, according to The Information.

"Talk is a messaging app where you fully control the contacts and your child uses the Talk app to chat with you in Messenger," the software code said.

While many parents will find the new Talk app attractive, it also provides further evidence that Facebook is now eyeing the teen market in a bigger way.

The Australian newspaper recently reported that the social media giant can significantly help advertisers target users as young as 14. The publication claimed to have obtained a 23-page leaked document suggesting that Facebook's algorithm can determine, and allow advertisers to identify "moments when young people need a confidence boost."

The new app may turn out to be useful for parents who are worried about their children's online contacts. However, parental controls in the app may also turn some teens off.