Children under the age of 13 will soon be able to sign up to Facebook, with the social networking site considering lifting its ban on younger users.
Facebook is said to be developing technology that will allow under-13s to create online profiles with parental supervision.
The Wall Street Journal reports the new prototype would give parents complete control over what their young children do on the site.
Parents would be able to decide who their kids become "friends" with, what applications they use and what they communicate to people.
Facebook is believed to be developing the new features to cash in on the younger generation's fondness for online gaming.
Under-13s represent a large chunk of online gamers, but Facebook is currently unable to target the age group.
The move to allow such young children to sign up to the social network has sparked criticism, with some commentators claiming it raises dangerous privacy issues for vulnerable young people.
Facebook executives claim this argument ignores the fact that millions of under-13s are already using the site illegally, lying about their birth dates to sign up early.
A recent survey found an estimated 7.5 million Facebook users are under 13, with five million of those being under the age of 10.
Facebook argues that "formalising" the existence of young users will avoid future legal and regulatory problems for the company.
"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," a statement from Facebook reads.
"We are in continuous dialogue with stakeholders, regulators and other policy makers about how best to help parents keep their kids safe in an evolving online environment."
It is unsure when the new technology will be released.
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