Image via Shutterstock
Following in the footsteps of YouTube Kids and Messenger Kids, Facebook is working on a kid-friendly version of Instagram for children under the age of 13. In contrast, the main Instagram app requires that users be 13 or older to be able to join the platform.
BuzzFeed News got hold of the news after obtaining an internal company post about the project. According to the note, addressed by Instagram’s vice president of product Vishal Shah, the new version will “[allow] people under the age of 13 to safely use Instagram for the first time.”
Initiatives for youths have been pushed to the company’s H1 priority list, the post elaborates. The company’s framework will also prioritize enhancing privacy and safety for young users on the main Instagram app.
“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,” Shah wrote in the post.
The memo’s authenticity was confirmed by Facebook with Mashable. In addition, Facebook emphasized Instagram for kids will be a “parent-controlled experience” to allow them to connect with friends and discover new interests safely.
While the new app is supposedly meant to create a safe space for young users, some parents have previously questioned the intent behind such platforms and pointed out that tech companies could be encouraging children to become future users.
It’s also difficult to monitor bullying, as experiences on the full version of Instagram have already proven.
With that being said, there are comparably greater restrictions imposed on advertisers and social networks for child-friendly versions of apps, since user data cannot be collected or targeted as freely as the original platforms. So, in a way, they’re still a tad safer.[via Mashable and BuzzFeed News, cover image via Shutterstock]
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