Why Did Facebook Spy on Kids’ Playdates?

Facebook researched how to market its products and services to preteen users, studying kids’ playdates and developing strategies to address parents’ concerns, according to an investigation by The Wall Street Journal.

The tech giant established a three-year project beginning in 2018 to study and develop marketing strategies geared towards preteen users, company documents seen by The Wall Street Journal revealed. Facebook conducted over a dozen studies to figure out which services most appeal to children under the age of 13, and what are parents’ chief concerns.

“Why do we care about tweens?” one document from 2020 read, according to the WSJ. “They are a valuable but untapped audience.”

One presentation titled “Exploring playdates as a growth lever” assessed whether playdates were a good situation in which to market Facebook’s Messenger Kids service, according to the WSJ. Facebook interviewed parents about the activities that typically take place during playdates to get a better understanding of how to “drive kid growth,” according to the documents.

“Is there a way we can leverage playdates to drive word of hand/growth?” the document read. (Read more from “Why Did Facebook Spy on Kids’ Playdates?” HERE)

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