Actually, children are only allowed to register on Instagram from the age of 13 – but some simply give the wrong date of birth. Facebook wanted to solve the problem with a children’s version. The further development is now put on hold for the time being.
Although he continues to believe that it would be right to offer a special variant of the photo service for 10-12 year olds, Instagram boss Adam Mosseri wrote in a blog post on Monday. But first there should be more detailed consultations with experts, parents and politicians. “Instagram Kids” was never intended for children younger than ten, emphasized Mosseri.
Currently, children aged 13 and over can officially register on Instagram. In fact, however, younger people simply give the wrong date of birth. Facebook wanted to address the problem with a customized version with no ads and more parenting control. “The reality is that the children are already online,” the company affirmed on Monday.
In the past few weeks, Instagram mother Facebook has come under increasing pressure after a series of revelatory articles in the “Wall Street Journal”. It also said, citing internal Facebook documents, that the online network had found itself that the use of Instagram had had a negative impact on the mental health of numerous teenagers, especially girls.
Facebook denies the representation. The newspaper only picked a few aspects from a Facebook study, and children also said that Instagram helped them overcome problems, the company criticized.
There was a lot of headwind for the Instagram project, including from child protection organizations. In the past few months, attorneys general from several US states and influential politicians had also called for Facebook to stop developing the version for younger children.
On Thursday, top manager Antigone Davis, who is responsible for user safety on Facebook, will ask questions from US senators. To what extent Monday’s decision can take the pressure off her remains open. Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn, an organizer of the hearing, described the freeze as a step in the right direction. At the same time, she reiterated her criticism that large tech companies put profits above the well-being of young users.