Facebook Puts Instagram Kids Development on Hold
Instagram Kids Faces Criticism
Facebook (FB) announced yesterday it is halting development of Instagram Kids, its planned social media app for children under the age of 13. The app, which could be a big revenue driver for the social media giant, faced backlash from lawmakers who expressed concern about the harm Instagram Kids could have on children’s mental health. Meanwhile, attorneys general from 44 states called on Facebook to abandon the app, saying there are better ways for children to connect with their family and friends.
Facebook said it was putting development on pause in order to get feedback from parents, researchers, and safety experts. Their input will help the company determine how to move forward with the app.
Facebook Is Not Giving Up on Instagram Kids
While Facebook is halting production of the app for now, the company still thinks that offering a version of Instagram to children is a good idea. In a blog post, Adam Mosseri, the Head of Instagram, said the company wants the app to be a way for parents to give children access to a controlled, supervised version of Instagram.
Mosseri and Facebook think this solution is better than letting kids use the same version of Instagram as adults, which is what they believe happens now. Mosseri also noted in the blog that Google’s (GOOGL) YouTube and TikTok both have versions of their apps designed specifically for children under the age of 13.
Facebook Adds Instagram Parental Controls
In addition to going back to the drawing board with Instagram Kids, Facebook said Instagram will offer more parental controls for older children. The expanded controls will enable parents to monitor their kids and shape what they can see on the platform.
Facebook’s actions on Instagram Kids came shortly after the Wall Street Journal reported that the social media company found that Instagram was harmful for younger users, especially teenage girls, but never disclosed this information. Facebook said the report mischaracterizes the company’s internal studies, but has not provided data to counteract what critics are saying. It will be interesting to see what the next iteration of Instagram Kids will look like.
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