Facebook likely working on Instagram for kids under age 13

Instagram is likely planning to bring Messenger Kids-like platform. As per a BuzzFeed News report, Instagram’s parent company Facebook is said to be developing a version for kids under the age of 13.

As per the publication, Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri dropped a hint about the latest development. Mosseri cited that the company is currently exploring a version of the popular video/photo-sharing app.

“Kids are increasingly asking their parents if they can join apps that help them keep up with their friends. A version of Instagram where parents have control like we did w/ Messenger Kids, is something we’re exploring. We’ll share more down the road,” Mosseri said in a tweet.

The report also revealed details of an internal messaging board where Instagram’s vice president of product Vishal Shah mentioned creating a new ‘youth pillar project’ within the Community Product Group. The project will center around two factors- to ensure the safest experience for teens and to build a version of Instagram that will enable users under the age of 13 to safely use the platform for the first time. Notably, Instagram at present restricts kids under 13 from joining the platform.

Reports in line suggest that the project would be overseen by Mosseri and vice president Pavni Diwanji who was also a part of YouTube Kids.

Mosseri hasn’t shared specific details about the upcoming version, however, reports speculate that the Instagram Kids will have parental controls similar to Facebook’s Messenger Kids version. To recall, Messenger Kids launched in 2017 was designed for children between the age of 6-12 years. The messaging platform offers kids-friendly filters reactions and parental controls. While the app is ad-free, several advocates have criticised it and urged Facebook to discontinue the product, the reason being a flaw (occurred in 2019) that allowed thousands of kids to join chats with unauthorized users. With Facebook being severely criticised for mishandling users’ data and violating COPPA, it remains to be seen whether the company rectifies these issues on the supposed upcoming Instagram Kids platform.

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