Instagram working on app version meant for kids under 13

By: |
March 19, 2021 6:28 PM

Instagram at presents bars children aged below 13 from joining the platform.

For the kids version, Facebook and Instagram would have to remove ads from the platform.

Instagram for kids: Social media giant Facebook is working on a version of the photo-sharing platform Instagram for children below the age of 13 years. The development has been confirmed by Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri, who said that the platform was aware of the fact that a lot of children wanted to use the app. However, Mosseri also asserted that a detailed plan was yet to be formulated. Instagram at presents bars children aged below 13 from joining the platform.

In a tweet, Mosseri said that the company knew that children were increasingly asking their parents if they could join apps that would let them connect with their friends. Accordingly, the company is exploring coming up with a version of the app that would allow parents to have more control over what their children do on the platform, much like Facebook had done with Messenger Kids.

As per reports, Facebook has also said that currently, there is a lack of options that parents can offer to their children when they express their wish to connect with their friends, which is why they are looking at coming up with additional kid-friendly apps that would be managed by parents.

Reports have said that the project would be overseen by Mosseri and vice president Pavni Diwanji, who also oversaw the YouTube Kids project while at Google.

For the kids version, Facebook and Instagram would have to remove ads from the platform, as selling targeted products to children online poses privacy concerns as well as legal issues for the company. Accordingly, back in 2017, Facebook had launched a Messenger chat platform for kids aged between 6 and 12 years that was free of ads. However, the messenger had been criticised by activists who said that it could be harmful to kids, urging Facebook to discontinue it, something that the giant has not paid heed to. Later on, in 2019, a bug in the app allowed thousands of kids to join groups with strangers, leaving them in unauthorised users, and these unauthorised chats were later closed by Facebook.

There is a possibility that Instagram’s kids version might also have to face a similar kind of criticism, even as children are looking to interact with their friends more after being stuck at home for the better part of a year.

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