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FB giving up Instagram Kids

Facebook gives up ‘Instagram for kids’

Facebook has officially announced the pause of Instagram Kids, following reactions by parents and policymakers and a crossfire with Wall Street Journal. 

In May 2021, following an internal memo leak, a Facebook spokesman admitted that the company had just started an ad-free version of Instagram for kids, something that was perceived as a “shameful attempt to exploit and profit off vulnerable people”, as Massachusetts Attorney General, Maura Healey, tweeted. The announcement raised reactions from 40 US state attorneys, who urged Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to give up the plans.  

Read Also:  Zuckerberg urged to skip Instagram Kids

‘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’, states Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram, in a blog post

Facebook argues that the children are already online, that its competitors (naming YouTube and TikTok) already have versions for kids under 13 and that it was meant as a way for parents to supervise their kid’s use of Instagram – but they anyway agree to ‘use this time to work with parents, experts and policymakers to demonstrate the value and need for this product.

Mosseri is anyway announcing that Facebook is graciously freezing the project in order to ‘allow 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’.

The blogpost also refers to the recent reporting from the WSJ on Instagram’s research into teen’s experiences on the platform, accusing the company of hiding the report because of the negative findings. 

Read Also:  Facebook hitting back at Wall Street Journal

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