The idea of Instagram Kids was similar to the one Youtube had with Youtube Kids, a content platform specially designed for children, so there is no need to worry about “who knows what they will see there”.
Facebook wanted to create an Instagram for children under 13, but has just published an article saying that they desist from the idea, they believe that it is better for parents to take control of what their children should see or not, and therefore instead of creating an app for children they will create better tools for parents to monitor and control the experience.
They are stopping Instagram Kids to talk to parents, experts, legislators and regulators to develop better ways to control, but they are not doing this because they think Instagram Kids was a bad idea, so they don’t rule out it coming back in the future with a different approach.
The idea for the app was one that asks for parental permission to join, has no ads and has content and features for under 13, but it’s important that parents can monitor how much time their children spend on the app and monitor who can message them, who can follow them and who they can follow.
That parental control part is what will take center stage now. The “content, ads and features” part is paused, but now they will focus on tools for parents to monitor activity and make decisions.
Facebook says that over the next few months they will provide more details on how this will work, and takes the opportunity to comment on the WSJ’s recent report on research related to teens’ experiences on Instagram. Facebook disagrees with how the media outlet reported on their research, and details the issue at this link.
They are going to work to make Instagram a safer platform for teens, and that includes everything from the classic “take a break”, to encouraging people to consider other topics not related to personal image, one of the points that is bringing more problems within teens.