Facebook to launch version of Instagram for children under 13, documents show

"We have identified youth work as a priority for Instagram and have added it to our H1 priority list.”

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Social media giant, Facebook is reportedly planning to launch a version of Instagram for children under the age of 13. 

The new platform would allow kids to be able to “safely” use IG in a parent-controlled environment. 

Buzzfeed News was the first to report on the development of the platform when they obtained an internal document.

Read More: Facebook, Apple battle over online tracking, user privacy

(Adobe Stock)

 “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 on Thursday according to the report. 

“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.”

Instagram currently requires new users to verify that they are at least 13 years of age to use the platform. 

According to the report, the development of the new site/app will be overseen by the head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, and Pavni Diwanji who oversaw the development of YouTube Kids. 

Earlier this week, Instagram shared a blog post called, “Continuing to make Instagram safer for the youngest members of our community.” In the post, the company shared that “protecting young people on Instagram is important to us.” The company collaborated with The Child Mind Institute and ConnectSafely to publish a new Parents Guide which includes safety tools and updates to privacy settings. 

Additional safety measures on the current platform will include more age verification and restricting direct messages between teens and adults that they don’t know. 

Instagram is also encouraging parents and their teen users to engage in conversations about being cautious on social media. Teen users will soon receive a “safety notice” when an adult who has “been exhibiting potentially suspicious behavior is interacting with them in DMs.” 

Mosseri did a short interview with Buzzfeed News where he explained that more and more kids want to use the app, but that age verification and safety remain a concern for the company and parents. Mosseri said there is currently no detailed plan for the new app’s development or rollout. 

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