Prevention vs Damage Control: Gabb Messenger for Parents

Words by
Jake Cutler

APR 03, 2024

Prevention vs Damage Control: Gabb Messenger for Parents

Connection is a fundamental part of human development, and it’s especially important for kids. 

Today, technology has become an inextricable part of connection. From texting and messaging to video calls and social media, there are countless ways for people to communicate no matter where they are in the world. 

For all of us, but especially kids, this can be both a blessing and a curse. From mental health concerns to cyberbullying and grooming, we know a lot more about digital dangers than we did a decade ago. But the tech world is still mostly playing catch-up in regards to safety for kids (and those changes are mostly coming because of external pressure from both parents and politicians).

It’s largely on us as parents to help shield kids from the damaging effects of technology. While that can feel overwhelming, thankfully there are tools today to support parents in protecting their children. For example, many messaging platforms are starting to add more safety features for kids.

However, those features notify parents when their children have already been exposed to dangerous content. That’s certainly better than nothing, but responding after harm has been inflicted is not ideal.

Protecting kids in the first place is a much better approach, an idea that inspired the design of Gabb Messenger.

Prevention Works Better Than Damage Control

Given that so many of the biggest online dangers are threatening kids’ health, it seems fair to take a page from the medical playbook, summed up nicely by the CDC: “It is far better to prevent disease than to treat people after they get sick.”

By this logic, the safest approach to digital communication is to keep kids away from it altogether. But we all know that’s not a realistic long term strategy. And frankly, that approach would be denying them a lot of great experience and opportunity too.

A lot of good can come when kids are allowed to connect with each other, with you, and with other family members online. The challenge is how to give them the appropriate amount of connection while being shielded from the dangers inherent in the freedom it provides.

Facing that challenge is Gabb’s mission in a nutshell. That’s why Gabb Messenger and Gabb Messenger for Parents were created.

What is Gabb Messenger?

Gabb Messenger is Gabb’s custom messaging app—designed specifically to bring parents peace of mind while children are provided with enough autonomy to safely develop the crucial, 21st-century skill of using tech responsibly.

It uses smart-triggered alerts and centralized parent management to protect kids and teens while they message from their own phones.

Unlike other messaging apps that tack on safety settings as an afterthought, Gabb Messenger was designed with kids and teens safety as the top priority.

The Right Amount of Monitoring

Autonomy is an important part of a child’s development and helps them to become independent and responsible so they can confidently face a constantly evolving world. For this reason, we intentionally designed Gabb Messenger to monitor every message sent and received but only flag or blog dangerous communications.

Our smart filtration automatically blocks the most offensive content from reaching kids in the first place. That means parents can know their child is getting the protection they need without the burden of constantly monitoring every message.

Content that passes that blocking filter but still might be objectionable is flagged for you to give you the opportunity to have conversations with your kids and prevent future problems.

Gabb Messenger allows you to foster independence with your kids and encourages them to practice safe behaviors online. You get peace of mind without the friction that might come with constantly looking over their shoulder, they get safe connection. It’s a win-win.

Gabb Messenger Flagging vs. Blocking

Gabb Messenger doesn’t require parents to configure a long list of complicated safety settings that only alert them of problems after damage has been done. Our smart filtering will flag (send an alert to parents) or block objectionable content, depending on the severity of the content and whether or not the child is communicating with a known contact.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the difference:

Gabb Messenger Safe Video Calling

Face-to-face connection with friends and family is important, even when far apart. Gabb Messenger Safe Video Calling lets kids and parents enjoy video calls while still giving kids the safety they deserve and parents the peace of mind they need.

Parents or guardians can enable or disable the safe video calling feature at any time with a toggle button within the Gabb Messenger Parent app.

What Sets It Apart?

Gabb Messenger Safe Video Calling enables one-on-one video calls exclusively with contacts that use Gabb phones or with parents or guardians who use Gabb Messenger Parent and are paired with a Gabb phone.

  • Smart monitoring: If nudity is detected, the call will end, the video calling feature will be locked, and parents will be notified through the Gabb Messenger Parent app or via email. The notification about nudity getting flagged will have details about the flagged video call, including a blurred screenshot of the video that triggered the flagging. Please note: nudity monitoring does not apply to video calls between a parent and the paired child device since nudity alerts are sent to the parent account for review.
  • Parent-controlled: If a video call is flagged for nudity, your child’s safe video calling feature will automatically be disabled until a parent decides to re-enable it through the Gabb Messenger Parent app.
  • No group calls: Gabb Messenger doesn’t allow group video calls to ensure each call is monitored effectively and to reduce the risk of inappropriate behavior. 
  • No anonymous calls or ads: Gabb Messenger doesn’t support anonymous calls and is free from ads.

In addition to those key safety features, Gabb Messenger doesn’t allow video calling from parents to other people’s children who have Gabb phones. Parents can only video call with their own kids.

The Kid Benefits of Gabb Messenger

Gabb Messenger now comes standard on all Gabb phones—Gabb Phone, Gabb Phone Plus, and Gabb Phone 3 Pro—to give kids the connection and safety they deserve.

Safe Communication

Through Gabb Messenger, kids get safe text messaging (SMS) and photo/video messaging (MMS) with the parent-option to enable group chat. Messaging is kept safe with smart filtration that automatically blocks:

  • images with explicit content
  • links from unknown contacts
  • harmful words from unknown contacts.

Harmful words or images from known contacts are flagged to alert parents.

Top-of-the-line User Experience

Gabb Messenger provides a clean display and user experience on par with the highest-quality messaging experiences they’d get on leading messaging apps.

Safe Autonomy

Kids and teens get the freedom to learn how to safely communicate digitally because only messages flagged as questionable are sent to the Gabb Messenger Parent app. That means they get enough privacy and autonomy to develop crucial digital communication skills.

This provides you the opportunity to assess the situation and take appropriate action depending on the unique needs of your child. It allows for natural opportunities to help your children develop key digital skills through conversations about things like cyberbullying, grooming, and other abusive behaviors.

The Benefits of Gabb Messenger for Parents

There are a lot of messaging options available today. But even those marketed as being safe for kids still present problems.

When researching for the development of Gabb Messenger,  parents reported the existing messaging options still didn’t solve two big problems: 1) preventing damage in the first place, and 2) providing a simple parent experience. 

Fixing those were top priorities when we created Gabb Messenger for Parents—available for free download on your parent device.


Gabb Messenger for Parents eliminates the overwhelming list of settings that many other monitoring apps include.

It gives parents a simple way to review questionable content that passes Gabb Messenger’s initial filter, but is flagged as questionable. Within the Parent app, guardians can toggle between “Sent” and “Received” tabs to identify the source of the potentially harmful message.

Chances for Crucial Conversations

Any content that is clearly dangerous will be blocked. But additional content that is considered potentially harmful to kids will be flagged for you as a parent to review. 

This is an opportunity for parents to have important conversations with their kids.

Centralized Management

The Parent app provides a quick way to keep track of multiple kids or teens because any phone line with Gabb Messenger can be pulled into a single parent account. This to makes it easy to monitor flagged messages for more than one child.

Within the Parent app, you also have the ability to manage a child’s contact list so that only parent-approved contacts can send or receive messages with your kid or teen.

Early responses by parents show that Gabb Messenger is solving the problems other messaging apps couldn’t.

In Their Own Words

Listening to parent feedback has been a staple of Gabb’s tech philosophy from the beginning. Although we plan to continue to improve Gabb Messenger over time (and parent input will be a critical part of that), early responses have made it clear that Gabb Messenger is the app parents were looking for.

From Alixandria, North Carolina:
“[Our daughter] is almost 13 and has definitely proven that she is responsible and deserves to be able to talk to her friends and go places without us. At the same time, we have peace of mind. If her conversations get flagged, we can discuss why we don’t use certain language. I am thankful for the opportunity for her to have freedom all while being safe.”

From Michelle, Tennessee:

“Great teaching tool to have for a new phone user.”

From Karmen, Virginia:

“I like how this feature only alerts me to questionable text. My kids are still able to maintain privacy, but we are able to have necessary conversations about their conduct and how they should talk to others as well as how others should talk to them.”

From Scott, Utah:

This was absolutely perfect for us as parents to discover some questionable messages our child was sent from some friends and to start an open conversation with him about appropriate texting. Without this app, we would have never seen those messages.

From Kira, Idaho:

“I love this ability to be notified when inappropriate content is being received or sent by my child. It allows me the opportunity to teach and help where needed.”

From Karmen, Virginia:

“I love how accurate this is with catching bullying-specific language. This could be a game changer for parents!”

From Nathan, California:

“Most of these instances I can ignore as “kids being kids” but it’s comforting to know if something sketchy was going down, I’d be the first to know.”


What worries you most when you think about your kids communicating digitally? What can Gabb do to help? Let us know in the comments!


  • annonymus on Jul 11, 2023 03:03 PM

    I've tried updating my phone to have the gabb messenger app but its not working?? What can I do?

  • Gabb on Jul 12, 2023 12:54 PM

    Hi! Thanks for reaching out! Our Customer Support team would be more than happy to help take a look into that for you! Please reach out to them via live chat on our website and they would be happy to help further from there!

  • Kathy on Aug 05, 2023 08:22 AM

    Is it available for Android? It is not on the Google Play store.

  • Gabb on Aug 07, 2023 01:48 PM

    Great question! Currently this is only available on IOS (iPhones), but our Android options should be released soon!

  • Erika on Aug 13, 2023 10:49 AM

    Looking for an android version. What is the approximate time of release?

  • Gabb on Aug 14, 2023 11:07 AM

    We hope to be releasing this for our Android users soon! We don't currently have a release date at this time but we will be sure and update our customers as soon as possible!

  • Scott on Sep 03, 2023 03:03 PM

    It's disappointing to see this is not available for Android. Android holds 70% of the current market compared to iOS at 23%. Wouldn't you think the 70% would be a priority? We already have one gabb phone for our oldest and we're considering another for our youngest, but if you can't see what is being blocked and why... that's a pretty big deal.

  • Gabb on Sep 06, 2023 11:00 AM

    We completely understand those concerns! Our team is working hard to make this option available for our Android users as well. We promise we haven't forgotten about this. We will be sure and share any updates about this with our Customers as soon as possible!

  • Jill on Dec 28, 2023 09:00 PM

    Is there an update on a release date for the Gabb messenger parent app for Androids? I, too, would like to see this happen sooner rather than later.

  • Gabb on Dec 29, 2023 02:19 PM

    Hi Jill! Our team is working hard to get Gabb Messenger for Parents onto Androids. Thank you for your feedback, we hear you and understand the importance of getting this pushed out soon.

  • Michael on Mar 03, 2024 02:27 PM

    How is the progress on the Android app? I realize things take time -- can't just shove it through -- but this feature is one of the reasons we bought a Gabb phone for our 6th grader in August. Since we are Android users, it has left us considering other options.

  • Gabb on Mar 06, 2024 06:41 PM

    Hi Michael! Thank you for reaching out about this, we do know how important it is for the Gabb Messenger for Parents app (on android) to be out soon. While we do not yet have an exact release date, we are actively working on it to make sure it is perfect. Stay tuned, it will be soon!

  • BBG Meaning: What Does BBG Mean in Slang? on Mar 07, 2024 03:33 PM

    […] If you’re worried about your child’s communication online then you can also check out our kid-safe devices that come standard with safe messaging. […]

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