Facebook Builds “Instagram for Kids”
Facebook Explores Social Media App for Children Under 13
Facebook (FB) is working on a new social media app for children under the age of 13 which will be similar to Instagram. Facebook says the app will enable children to keep up with friends and family without any intrusive ads. The move is also seen as a way to get young users off of Instagram.
Facebook has taken steps to prevent children from using its apps over the years, but kids are still using them in large numbers. In a study from several years ago, Facebook found that 81% of parents in the US said their children began interacting with Instagram between the ages of 8 and 13.
Facebook wants to create an app which is safe for children for a number of reasons. The company hopes to improve its public image and help parents feel comfortable letting kids use the new product.
The new app will also likely give Facebook the ability to improve its ad targeting capabilities. The company began requiring Instagram users to provide their birthdate to sign up in late 2019, which is especially helpful for targeted ads in age-dependent categories like alcohol.
This Isn’t Facebook’s First Foray into Children-Focused Apps
Facebook isn’t a stranger to developing apps geared toward children. Messenger Kids, introduced in 2017, is similar to Facebook Messenger but it is aimed at children between the ages of 6 and 12.
Messenger Kids doesn’t have ads, but the social media giant does use the data it collects from the app. Facebook may use a similar model for the new kid-focused app it is developing.
However, the company has come under scrutiny from privacy activists and governments around the world regarding how it collects and uses data. These discussions could become more complicated if they center around an app for children. Investors as well as parents and children will be eager to see if and when Facebook’s plans come to fruition.
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