Instagram was making a version of its app for children aged under 13. Now it’s not – at least not for the moment.
“We believe building Instagram Kids is the right thing to do, but we’re pausing the work,” wrote Instagram boss Adam Mosseri in a blog post yesterday.
“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.”
The app would have been for 10-12 year-olds, removing the ads and adding parental supervision features. However, a hard-hitting recent Wall Street Journal investigation (“Facebook knows Instagram is toxic for teens…”) has put Instagram firmly on the defensive.
That’s also shown in a separate blog post by its VP and head of research Pratiti Raychoudhury claiming that far from being toxic, Instagram is helpful for more teenage girls on 11 of the 12 issues raised by the WSJ piece (the twelfth, since you ask, is body image).
The discussion around all this is what’s led to the pause for Instagram Kids, although a trio of US politicians don’t think that’s enough.
“A ‘pause’ is insufficient,” they wrote yesterday. “Facebook has completely forfeited the benefit of the doubt when it comes to protecting young people online and it must completely abandon this project.”