Report claims ‘Talk’ will be compatible with Messenger and come with range of parental controls.

Facebook is working on a new chat application designed specifically for children, it emerged this week.

According to a report by The Information late on Thursday, clues to the new app, which appears to be called "Talk", can be found in the code of the main Facebook app.

Phrases related to Talk’s compatibility with Facebook Messenger can be found in the code, while another reportedly alludes to parental controls, stating that "Talk is a messaging app where you fully control the contacts."

Facebook declined to comment.

Facebook requires all members to be at least 13 years old when they sign up. Using false information to create an account is a breach of its terms of service.

While it is no secret that children under the age of 13 sign up to Facebook – a Nominet survey in 2014 found that 52% of eight-16-year-olds ignored Facebook’s age limit – rolling out an app specifically for younger users would help the company to actively go after a new generation at a time when it faces stiffer competition for its attention.

For instance, rival messaging service SnapChat also has a minimum age requirement of 13; however, younger users are automatically directed to the child-friendly version, SnapKidz, in an effort to curb underage use and appeal to a younger audience.