Instagram plans to develop a version just for children | WARC | The Feed
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Instagram plans to develop a version just for children
Instagram, the photo-sharing platform owned by Facebook, is planning to develop a version of the app that would be suitable for children aged under 13, even though current Instagram policy bars pre-teens from using the service.
That is according to an internal company post, obtained by BuzzFeed News, in which Vishal Shah, VP of product at Instagram, stated that a company priority is to build “a version of Instagram that allows people under the age of 13 to safely use Instagram for the first time”.
Why it matters
Numerous reports over recent years have raised concerns about the safety and wellbeing of children who engage with social media. Indeed, just two days before BuzzFeed News revealed the internal Instagram memo, the company updated its guidance on how best to protect young people – without mentioning its intent to build a version for children under the age of 13.
What we know
- Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, told BuzzFeed News in a short interview that it’s early days for the project, but that the company knows more and more children want to use apps like Instagram. He said the solution would be to create a version where parents have “transparency or control”.
- The initiative will be led by Pavni Diwanji who previously worked at Google, where she oversaw children-focused products, such as YouTube Kids.
- The development of an Instagram product for children follows the 2017 launch of Messenger Kids, a Facebook product aimed at children between the ages of six and 12. But that too has faced criticism about its safety and privacy controls.
- Some observers have warned that children, either by choice or by accident, often migrate to main adult platforms. “Just because you have a platform for kids, it doesn’t mean the kids are going to stay there,” said Priya Kumar, a PhD student at the University of Maryland.
“We have identified youth work as a priority for Instagram and have added it to our H1 priority list. We will be building a new youth pillar within the Community Product Group to focus on two things: (a) accelerating our integrity and privacy work to ensure the safest possible experience for teens and (b) building a version of Instagram that allows people under the age of 13 to safely use Instagram for the first time” – Vishal Shah, VP of product at Instagram.
Sourced from BuzzFeed News
[Image: lalo Hernandez on Unsplash]
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