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Instagram Kids has been put on hold because everyone realized it was a bad idea

After backlash, Instagram is putting the program on pause.

Instagram logo on blurred background
Image: KnowTechie

Earlier this year, Facebook-owned Instagram announced it was working on a teen-focused Instagram app. While, in theory, this isn’t a terrible idea, it doesn’t take long to realize how many issues this has.

Now, a new blog post from Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram, notes that the company is currently putting the project on pause to instead focus on expanding current tools found in the main Instagram app.

Mosseri notes that the program was leaked way before the company was ready to reveal it and that there were misunderstandings, including the age of users targetted with the platform. He notes that it “was never meant for younger kids, but for tweens (aged 10-12).” Which sounds a lot like kids to me, but whatever. For reference, Instagram’s current age limit is 13.

Regardless of the age limit, it’s absurd to target children (or tweens, I guess…) with social media platforms. Child safety groups agree, with a coalition of public health and child safety advocates recently urging the company to abandon the idea.

Instagram knows that social media can have negative and devastating effects on teens’ health, with teenage girls feeling the effects the greatest. A platform meant just for younger users does nothing but kickstart those very issues.

There is an argument that these younger users under 13 are already using Instagram, and that is valid, but with a platform actively marketed at under-13 users, more parents would probably be accepting of letting their young ones use the service.

All and all, it was a bad idea from the start, created under the guise of “protecting children,” when in reality it was a clever way to use a hot-button topic to start building datasets on a hard-to-reach market – children. Datasets that could follow them literally for the rest of their lives.

No kid should be responsible for that.

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Former KnowTechie editor.

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