Facebook has announced today that it is pausing the development of its Instagram Kids application, an alternative to the photo-sharing app meant for children under 13.
This announcement comes to us via a blog post where Instagram’s chief, Adam Mosseri announces this sudden change, saying that the Facebook-owned company will continue to work on parental-supervised experiences for the application for younger users of the internet.
What Does the Instagram Blog Post Mention?
The post by Mosseri says that “We (Instagram) firmly believe that it’s better for parents to have the option to give their children access to a version of Instagram that is designed for them — where parents can supervise and control their experience — than relying on an app’s ability to verify the age of kids who are too young to have an ID.
“While we stand by the need to develop this experience, we’ve decided to pause this project. This will give us time to work with parents, experts, policymakers and regulators, to listen to their concerns, and to demonstrate the value and importance of this project for younger teens online today”, he adds.
When it comes to the critics of the program, he says that “Critics of “Instagram Kids” will see this as an acknowledgement that the project is a bad idea. That’s not the case”
“The reality is that kids are already online, and we believe that developing age-appropriate experiences designed specifically for them is far better for parents than where we are today”
“We’re not the only company to think so. Our peers recognized these issues and built experiences for kids. YouTube and TikTok have versions of their app for those under 13. Our intention is not for this version to be the same as Instagram today”
“It was never meant for younger kids, but for tweens (aged 10-12). It will require parental permission to join, it won’t have ads, and it will have age-appropriate content and features”
“Parents can supervise the time their children spend on the app and oversee who can message them, who can follow them and who they can follow. The list goes on”
What About the Criticism?
Talking on a recent report by WSJ which was quite damning, he says that “Recent reporting from the WSJ on our research into teen’s experiences on Instagram has raised a lot of questions for people. To be clear, I don’t agree with how the Journal has reported on our research.”
We do research like this so we can make Instagram better. That means our insights often shed light on problems, but they inspire new ideas and changes to Instagram”