Instagram’s ‘Instagram Kids’ project has been paused, with the company wanting to conduct further research on the platform before delving deeper into it.
Earlier in 2021, Facebook revealed that it was working on a child-friendly platform called Instagram Kids, which would be similar to Google’s YouTube Kids.
However, Facebook’s plans have seemingly been put on hold according to a post by the head of Instagram Adam Mosseri.
Speaking on the matter, Mosseri stated that the company believes that it is better for parents if they have the choice of providing their children with access to a version of Instagram which is “designed for them – where parents can supervise and control their experience – than relying on an app’s ability to verify the age of kids who are too young to have an ID”.
He claimed that while they fully support the need for such an experience, they have “decided to pause this project”, in order to have “time to work with parents, experts, policymakers and regulators,” and to “listen to their concerns” as well as “demonstrate the value and importance of this project for younger teens online today”.
The post also highlights how several critics have pinpointed the idea of having a dedicated social media platform for children as a bad one, yet Mosseri counters this by stating that children are already online, and such a platform specifically designed for them would be much better than allowing things to continue as they are.
Mosseri stated that Instagram Kids would not be the same as the current Instagram, with the children-friendly platform not having ads and will be restricted to only displaying age-appropriate content.
Such a platform will require plenty of work due to its complexities, but it has since been paused and when it is expected to be resumed (if it is resumed at all) is still unknown.
Even Google did not get it completely right with YouTube Kids, with it coming under heavy criticism, firstly for displaying what many felt were deceptive advertisements, and then for displaying video content that was deemed inappropriate for multiple reasons, ranging from explicit sexual language to controversial topics such as drugs.
While the idea of having children being somewhat controlled in terms of what they are viewing online is a great push towards eliminating cyberbullying and negative influences on children, a great deal of work is still required in order to make such platforms suitable alternatives for the full platforms.
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