05 May 2021
Facebook is considering the possibility of releasing a special Instagram app version for kids aged under 13. The plan was first reported by BuzzFeed News citing an internal company post. Since then, it has been acknowledged officially by Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram, through a tweet as well as statements given to the publication.
It is said that Facebook has seen a surge in the number of under 13 years of kids joining or at least trying to join the platform. One of the main issues that Instagram is facing that many kids are faking their age to get access. The team does not have a good enough method to detect and prevent that from happening. Since the platform is not appropriate for kids and is surrounded by adult and adult-oriented content as well, they are looking for other ways to confront the issue.
"Kids are increasingly asking their parents if they can join apps that help them keep up with their friends. A version of Instagram where parents have control like we did w/ Messenger Kids, is something we’re exploring. We’ll share more down the road."
Facebook already has a kids-focused version of the Messenger application called Messenger Kids. It is meant to provide a safe space for kids to communicate with each other. It also helps parents get less worried as they are in control of what their kids are up to. The team is hoping to deliver something similar with the Instagram app meant for kids as and when it arrives. However, do note that there is no surety that the Instagram for kids app will actually be released.
This new development has emerged just three days after Instagram revealed its plans to keep teens safe on the platform. It will not allow adults to privately message teens that do not follow them. The app will simply not show them the option to send a message unless they are followed by the teen. The new feature is said to be powered by Instagram's machine learning abilities to detect the users' ages and the age they provided during the registration process.