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Facebook looking to add access for children under 13, says the Wall Street Journal

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A new report claims that Facebook is looking at adding new tools to make the site accessible to users under the age of 13.

Facebook Nasdaq NYC Stock
Facebook Nasdaq NYC Stock

Facebook is working on new technology that would let young children use the social network without having to lie about their age, reports the Wall Street Journal. Facebook currently doesn't allow users under the age of 13, though many sign-up anyways — last year Consumer Reports said that 7.5 million of Facebook's users were 13 or younger, including five million under the age of 10. The proposed technology wouldn't create a separate version of the network for these users, but instead would put in place features that give parents control over their child's online experience. A child's account would be connected to their parent's, for instance, and tools would be put in place to manage who can be added as a friend and what apps and games are used.

Of course, just because Facebook is testing the technology doesn't mean it will be ever be implemented, but the company does seem keen on figuring out the problem of under age users. "Recent reports have highlighted just how difficult it is to enforce age restrictions on the Internet, especially when parents want their children to access online content and services," Facebook told the WSJ in a statement. And with the company now public — and share prices falling — there's definite incentive for Facebook to reach out to new, untapped audiences.