Adam Mosseri, Director of Instagram, has announced the temporary suspension of Instagram Kids, the special version of the social network for minors. The decision comes just hours after Facebook itself made it clear that Instagram “helps a lot of teenagers,” that of the toxicity problems revealed by The Wall Street Journal.
Mosseri has explained in a series of tweets and through the company’s blog that the children’s version of Instagram was designed to preteens under the age of 13. This was to include features such as the ability for parents to approve follow-up requests. They could also see the messages or the time they spend in the application. The director of Instagram assures that the leak of this project happened in a very premature phase. At that time they had few answers to offer to those users who showed their uncertainty.
Recent news about the serious problems related to the use of Instagram in adolescents has further increased doubts about an application designed for children. Therefore, you have decided to pause the project “to work with experts, parents, legislators and regulators”. Mosseri also insists that an app with these characteristics is necessary.
I have to believe that parents would rather have their children use an age-appropriate version of Instagram, which provides supervision, than the alternative. But I’m not here to downplay your concerns, we have to get it right.
The director of Instagram assures in one of his tweets.
The Instagram app adds new parental control functions pending the ‘Kids’ version
Photo by Erik Lucatero on Unsplash
The head of the social network gives an example to TikTok or YouTube. Both companies have developed apps for children under 13 with a series of limitations and controls to ensure safety. While the project takes a break, Instagram will add a function in its app for the parents of those adolescent users (over 13 years old) decide whether or not to monitor their children’s account. The app, remember, announced that the accounts of children under 16 will be private by default.
Just a few hours ago, Facebook made public the controversial slide that revealed how the social network knew that the use of the application caused body image problems in one in three adolescent women. The company has wanted to minimize this problem by ensuring that it is the only point where there is a negative impact. However, they still do not offer a solution.