Facebook is pressing pause on its 'Instagram Kids' project

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Social apps (Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Facebook is pausing the work on building an Instagram experience for kids.
  • The social networking giant plans to use this time to work with parents and policymakers "to demonstrate the value and need" for the product.
  • Facebook will also continue building opt-in parental supervision tools for kids.

Facebook announced on September 27 that is temporarily pausing the work on "Instagram Kids" — an Instagram experience designed specifically for users under the age of 13. The company says the move will give it more time to "work with parents, policymakers, and regulators, listen to their concerns, and demonstrate the important of the project for younger teens."

While the work on "Instagram Kids" has been paused, Facebook is working on introducing new parental supervision tools that will allow parents to "oversee" their children's accounts. Facebook says it will more to share on the opt-in supervision tools in the coming months.

Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, wrote in a blog post:

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 — than relying on an app's ability to verify the age of kids who are too young to have an ID.

The announcement comes just a day after Facebook responded to a report from The Wall Street Journal that claimed that the company's own research had shown that Instagram is "toxic" for teen girls.

Facebook said that its internal research found "teens report having both positive and negative experience with social media. " It also said that on 11 of 12 well-being issues, teenage girls struggling with those issues said that using Instagram actually made them feel better.

Facebook added that it uses internal research to inspire new changes to Instagram. Instagram's anti-bullying features such as Restrict, Hidden Words, Limits, and making accounts private by default for users under 16 were all "inspired" by internal research conducted by the company.

When it eventually launches, Instagram Kids will offer a completely different experience to younger kids with age-appropriate content and no ads. It will also allow parents to supervise the time their kids spend on the app and decide who they can follow, who can message them, and who can follow them.

Babu Mohan
News Writer