Instagram Kids Facebook

Image: Adobe Stock

Facebook halts Instagram Kids following harsh criticism

Facebook has put a hold on its plans for an ‘Instagram experience’ aimed at under-13s to consult with ‘parents, experts, policymakers and regulators’.

Instagram Kids Facebook

Image: Adobe Stock

Executives at Instagram have been working on developing a kid-friendly version of the online photo-sharing app, but on Monday 27 September it announced that plans have been halted for executives to use the time to demonstrate the value and need for Instagram Kids to various stakeholders. 

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The current Instagram policy does not allow kids under the age of 13 to use the popular app. The kid-friendly version of the app is marketed towards kids between 10 and 12 years old. Instagram is also developing a way for parents to supervise their children using the app. 

“We started this project to address an important problem seen across our industry: kids are getting phones younger and younger, misrepresenting their age, and downloading apps that are meant for those 13 or older,” says Instagram. 

Instagram Vice-President Vishal Shah previously noted that as they build a new youth pillar within Instagram they hope to focus on two things, ensuring the safest experience for teenagers and building a version of Instagram that kids under 13 can use.


In a statement released by Instagram yesterday, Head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri notes that although they believe building Instagram kids is the right thing to do, they have to pause the work. 

“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.”

“While we’re pausing our development of ‘Instagram Kids’, we’ll continue our work to allow parents to oversee their children’s accounts by expanding these tools to teen accounts (aged 13 and over) on Instagram.”

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In May this year, the National Association of Attorneys General wrote to Mark Zuckerberg to halt the development of the kid-friendly version of the app. In the letter signed by Attorneys General in the United States, they note that research shows that social media can be extremely harmful to children, physically, emotionally and mentally. 

A portion of the letter reads:

“Young children are not equipped to handle the range of challenges that come with hanging an Instagram account. Children do not have a developed understanding of privacy.”