According to BuzzFeed News, Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri has confirmed that a version of the famous photo-sharing app for children under the age of 13 is in the works. According to BuzzFeed News, the Facebook-owned company knows a lot of kids want to use Instagram, but there isn’t a “detailed roadmap yet.”
But, as Mosseri told BuzzFeed News, “part of the solution is to build a version of Instagram for young people or kids where parents have transparency or control.” “It’s something we’re looking into.” Instagram’s new policy forbids children under the age of 13 from using the app.
In an email to The Verge, Joe Osborne, a Facebook spokesperson, said, “Increasingly, kids are asking their parents if they can join apps that help them keep up with their peers.” “Right now, there aren’t many choices for parents, so we’re focusing on developing additional products — like Messenger Kids — that are appropriate for children and can be handled by parents. We’re looking at bringing a parent-controlled Instagram experience to help kids stay in touch with peers, explore new hobbies and interests, and more.”
Instagram vice president of product Vishal Shah said a “youth cornerstone” project has been listed as a priority by the organization, according to a message obtained by BuzzFeed News from an internal messaging board. According to Shah, the company’s Community Product Group will concentrate on privacy and safety concerns “to ensure the best possible experience for teenagers.” Mosseri and vice president Pavni Diwanji, who managed YouTube Kids at Google, will be in charge of the project.
Instagram wrote a blog post earlier this week about its attempts to make the app better for its youngest users, but there was no mention of a new version for children under the age of 13.
Targeting products online to children under the age of 13 raises not only privacy concerns but also legal concerns. The Federal Trade Commission fined Google $170 million in September 2019 for breaching the Children’s Online Privacy Rights Act by monitoring children’s viewing histories to deliver advertisements to them on YouTube (COPPA). Musical.ly, the forerunner of TikTok, was fined $5.7 million in February 2019 for breaching the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).
In 2017, Facebook released an ad-free version of its Messenger chat app for kids, targeted at children aged 6 to 12. Children’s health advocates slammed it as detrimental to children’s health and urged Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to stop using it.