Facebook won’t go ahead with “Instagram Kids” for now

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Facebook has pressed the pause button, and will not go ahead with Instagram Kids. The social media giant made this known on Monday after fierce criticisms. In a statement on Monday, Instagram Head, Adam Mosseri said the company needs more time.

Instagram Kids is a version of the original Instagram app Facebook hoped to launch for children under 13. Mosseri said that Instagram would continue to work on experiences for younger users under the supervision of parents.

“While we stand by the need to develop this experience, we’ve decided to pause this project. This will give us time to work with parents, experts, policymakers and regulators, to listen to their concerns, and to demonstrate the value and importance of this project for younger teens online today.”

In a series of tweets, Mosseri blamed the media for misunderstanding the idea behind the app. in one of his tweets, he said: “It was never meant for younger kids, but for tweens (aged 10-12).” In a follow up tweet, he said: “leaked way before we knew what it would be. People feared the worst, and we had few answers at that stage. It’s clear we need to take more time on this.”

Facebook released a dedicated Messenger app for kids in 2017. Since that time, the company has added a couple of features to make it safer. In 2018, Facebook added the ability for kids to invite new friends to the chat app by seeking for parental approval.

In 2020, Facebook announced that more tools and features to enable parents to better manage their kid’s experience on Messenger Kids. This was also followed by an update made to the company’s privacy policy.

Some of the tools added at the time include:

Recent Contacts and Chat History: See who your child is chatting with, whether they are video chatting or sending messages and how frequently those conversations happened over the past 30 days.

Log of Images in Chats: See the most recent photos and videos your child has sent and received in their inbox. If you believe an image or video is not appropriate for your child, you can remove it from your child’s message thread and report it.

Reported and Blocked Contacts History: Access a list of the reporting and blocking actions your child has taken in the app. You will see a list of the contacts your child has blocked and/or unblocked, if they have reported any messages as well as any contacts they’ve reported and the reason for their action. Parents will continue to be notified via Messenger if their child blocks or reports someone.


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Author: Ola Ric

Ola Ric is a professional tech writer. He has written and provided tons of published articles for professionals and private individuals. He is also a social commentator and analyst, with relevant experience in the use of social media services.

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