Executives at Facebook have confirmed that a new version of Instagram targeted at kids under 13 is in development.
As Buzzfeed News report, an internal company post has detailed that a new version of the photo-sharing app is on the burner. As it stands, the current Instagram policy only allows users over 13 to join the app.
“I’m excited to announce that going forward, we have identified youth work as a priority for Instagram and have added it to our H1 priority list,” Vishal Shah, Instagram’s vice president of product, wrote on an employee message board.
“We will be building a new youth pillar within the Community Product Group to focus on two things: (a) accelerating our integrity and privacy work to ensure the safest possible experience for teens and (b) building a version of Instagram that allows people under the age of 13 to safely use Instagram for the first time.”
Following the thread of Messenger Kids the new version of the app is set to offer a “parent-controlled experience.”
“We’re exploring bringing a parent-controlled experience to Instagram to help kids keep up with their friends, discover new hobbies and interests, and more,” Facebook spokesperson Joe Osborne said.
“Increasingly kids are asking their parents if they can join apps that help them keep up with their friends. Right now there aren’t many options for parents, so we’re working on building additional products — like we did with Messenger Kids — that are suitable for kids, managed by parents.”
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The announcement comes two days after Instagram released a blog post addressing widespread criticism of abuse, bullying, and predation experienced by teens on the app. The statement, titled “Continuing to Make Instagram Safer for the Youngest Members of Our Community,” outlined a number of new features and resources Instagram is implementing in order to keep young users safe.
In the post, Instagram acknowledged that it is aware that kids under 13 are lying about their age in order to access the app. To address this, the platform is developing AI to help instil new age-appropriate features.