Facebook recently announced a pause in the development of its Instagram Kids app after receiving an open letter from over three dozen U.S. state attorneys general expressing their concerns about the app’s potential to negatively impact adolescent mental health.
About the app
Created for children aged 10-12, Instagram Kids was intended to be a platform for younger internet users to share “age-appropriate content.” The app would provide an ad-free experience for all users, and every child would have to verify parental consent before setting up an account.
Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, recently addressed some of the concerns about the app in a recent blogpost, stating:
“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.”
Until further notice
While the rollout of Instagram Kids is currently stopped, Mosseri says that it is only to ensure that every aspect of the app is carefully designed to meet the needs and expectations of children and parents alike.
“[This pause] 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…. We started [it] to address an important problem seen across our industry: kids are getting phones younger and younger, misrepresenting their age, and downloading apps that are meant for those 13 or older… We 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.”