The development plans for Instagram Kids are paused at present. The app’s chief announced this decision after a Wall Street Journal report suggested that the photo-sharing app is detrimental to the mental well-being of teenage girls.
Adam Mosseri, Instagram head, said in a statement published on 27th September 2021 that to enhance the developments associated with Instagram Kids, the firm has decided to pause the project for some time. Mosseri stated that this would give the photo-sharing mogul some time to work with policymakers and regulators, parents, and experts, to tend to their concerns. This pause will also allow the firm to portray the worth and significance of these projects for teens on the online portal.
Instagram was bought by Facebook in 2021 for USD 1 billion. The application is aiming at kids who are essential elements for the expansion of the app’s presence, owing to a large base of users who are retreating from Facebook and adopting newer applications like TikTok for their social media requirements.
The Wall Street Journal called out on Facebook in a series called the “Facebook Files”. The particulars of the document show that the technology mogul is aware of the effect that Instagram has on teenagers’ mental well-being. Facebook’s research team discovered that teens blame Instagram for a surge in the degree of depression and anxiety, the WSJ stated.
Mosseri stated that recent documents from the Wall Street Journal’s research on teen experiences on the photo-sharing application have birthed a lot of queries for the general public. He disagreed with how WSJ portrayed its research inferences.
Mosseri advanced towards defending Facebook’s strategies to create a photo-sharing app for children, stating that it was more favorable for parents to have the choice to provide their kids with access to the app in a design that was exclusively fabricated for children. Parents will be able to regulate their child’s experience with the application.
Mosseri stated that Instagram Kids came into the picture when the firm wanted to address a crucial challenge that was witnessed across the industry. As more and more kids gain access to smartphones, social media becomes an inevitable addition to their lives. He added that the version of Instagram that is present in the market today was never meant to be used by children.
In April 2021, the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) asked Mark Zuckerberg to ditch the plans to create an Instagram for kids under 13 years old. The children’s advocacy group highlighted the risks associated with the aforementioned endeavor.
Applications such as YouTube and TikTok have already launched their versions of apps for kids under 13 years old.
Mosseri stated that Instagram Kids necessitates parental permission for a subscription. The app is fabricated to view advertisements that possess age-appropriate content. Parents will also be able to supervise their children’s activity and can decide on what content they can view, who they can follow, and who they can chat with.