Facebook plans to make an “Instagram experience” for under-13s, dubbed Instagram Kids, have been paused.
Earlier this spring facebook revealed it had started work on a dedicated version of Instagram for kids under the age of 13 — the current minimum age for an Instagram account six months on, the social media company has announced that it is “pausing” those efforts. Following The Wall Street Journal revelations that suggested Facebook had ignored internal research about the negative impact Instagram was having on teenage girls, development of Instagram Kids is being halted.
Nevertheless, Instagram still believes that launching a version of its platform that targets younger users “is the right thing to do” and will now switch to working with parents, experts, and policymakers to demonstrate the need for Instagram Kids.
The Facebook-owned platform also plans to continue building opt-in parental supervision tools for teenagers. Recent ideas include a “Take a Break” warning and encouraging users to view other topics.
Instagram head Adam Mosseri clarified that its so-called Instagram Kids platform was never meant for young children. It instead targeted kids aged 10-12 because they often have phones but lie about their age in order to gain access to social media.
The final version would have required parental permission to join and would be filled with “age-appropriate content and features.” Mosseri says ads weren’t going to be included either.
The version of Instagram Kids that was in the works would have allowed parents to supervise the time their children spend on the app, as well as oversee who they follow, who can follow them, and messages.
It’ll remain to be seen whether Instagram can convince the public that a version of Instagram for kids is needed. But what’s clear is that the social media platform isn’t giving up on its efforts just yet.
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