Instagram Pauses Development of 'Instagram Kids' Following Backlash

Instagram is temporarily halting the development of a new version of its app designed for children, according to a video and blog post shared by Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, on Monday.

“We’re going to take a step back and we’re going to take that time to talk and listen to parents, safety experts and researchers and get to more consensus about how exactly to move forward,” Mosseri said in a video posted to Twitter.

Mosseri confirms he still “strongly” believes in creating “Instagram Kids” with more rigorous parental controls and no advertisements for users between the ages of 10 and 12, citing that children are already misrepresenting their ages to create accounts on the social media platform.

The decision to pause “Instagram Kids” lands three days prior to the September 30 Senate Commerce subcommittee hearing “Protecting Kids Online: Facebook, Instagram and Mental Health Harms,” during which Antigone Davis, Facebook’s global head of safety, will testify.

“Critics of ‘Instagram Kids’ will see this as an acknowledgment that the project is a bad idea. That’s not the case,” Mosseri wrote in the blog post. “The reality is that kids are already online, and we believe that developing age-appropriate experiences designed specifically for them is far better for parents than where we are today.”

The news also comes after the Wall Street Journal reported that an internal Facebook presentation concluded that Instagram made 32% of teen girls feel worse when they felt bad about their bodies. In case you missed it, take a look at the full study.
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