Instagram Is Developing a Parent-Controlled Version for Kids Under 13 Years Old
Executives at Instagram are planning to build a version of the extremely popular photo-sharing app that can be used by children under the age of 13, a move that will no doubt delight kids everywhere.
The special-purpose app would have the capability to be controlled and managed by parents. Children must currently provide their age while signing up for an Instagram account, and those under 13 cannot use Insta without verifiable parental consent.
In leaked documents obtained by Buzzfeed, Instagrams’ vice president of product Vishal Shah explained the positive news to employees.
“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,” he writes.
“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.”
The internal announcement comes two days after Instagram admitted that it needs to do more to protect its youngest users. Following coverage and public criticism of the abuse, bullying, or predation faced by teens on the app, the company published a blog post on Tuesday titled “Continuing to Make Instagram Safer for the Youngest Members of Our Community.”
While there is no detailed plan or timeline put in place yet for the kid’s version of Instagram, company head Adam Mosseri agreed that “more and more kids” want to use apps like Instagram and that it was a challenge verifying their age, given most people don’t get identification documents until they are in their mid-to-late teens.
“We have to do a lot here,” he said, “but part of the solution is to create a version of Instagram for young people or kids where parents have transparency or control. It’s one of the things we’re exploring.”
Although no details about the app’s development are available at this time, the concept will likely follow in the footsteps of similar ventures by Facebook, like Messenger Kids.