In a press release penned by Instagram chief Adam Mosseri, Facebook says that it believes it’s best to give kids access to a special version of Instagram, rather than them use the normal version.
We firmly believe that it’s better for parents to have the option to give their children access to a version of Instagram that is designed for them — where parents can supervise and control their experience — than relying on an app’s ability to verify the age of kids who are too young to have an ID.
Mosseri goes on to say that the project is being paused to allow for more work to be done with parents.
While we stand by the need to develop this experience, we’ve decided to pause this project. This will give us 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 Newsroom post goes on to tackle the fact that Facebook’s move will be seen as an acknowledgment that the idea was a bad one. Mosseri says that is not the case despite people being concerned about the impact Instagram can have on children.
Critics of “Instagram Kids” will see this as an acknowledgment that the project is a bad idea. That’s not the case. 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.
We’re not the only company to think so. Our peers recognized these issues and built experiences for kids. YouTube and TikTok have versions of their app for those under 13.
Parents can read the full Newsroom statement to see where Facebook stands as of today, but it’s clear the company wants to push forward with a version of Instagram specially designed for kids. It just isn’t ready to do it just yet.