Now, it’s fair to say that social media was not built for kids in mind. In fact, Instagram was founded by a photographer and bourbon enthusiast. YouTube even started as a video-dating-site where it encouraged users to upload videos of themselves for their dating profile. Now, that’s a great way to not get catfished. However, the platform quickly transformed into one where users could upload any kind of video content. Social media typically even requires you to be a certain age before you can create a profile. However, Instagram Kids is a way for kids to create their own profiles and message those closest to them. Parents could even set parental controls. Now, Instagram is pausing the Instagram Kids project, but let’s talk about why.
Instagram Kids was being created to be more inclusive with younger generations and to keep up with Facebook Messenger Kids and YouTube Kids.
Teens and younger children are becoming more active online than ever before. Kids regularly watch YouTube videos, FaceTime with friends, send texts with emojis, and more. With YouTube Kids and Facebook Messenger Kids in existence, Instagram wanted to offer something to younger generations as well. But, with in-app advertisements, those children often end up browsing the web and looking at content that was not even remotely designed with them in mind. Instagram Kids was going to fight this and offer a better way for kids to be active and social online.
Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram, says that Instagram is pausing the Instagram Kids project. Why is this?
Instagram wanted to provide a version that is safe for tweens. Instagram Kids was being designed with tweens in mind specifically. Adam Mosseri stated in his latest IGTV that the project was being paused. This is just for now, of course. Instagram wants to provide a solid option for parents with tweens who want to be social online. Instagram wants to provide a child-friendly version with age-appropriate content, no ads, the use of parental controls, and many other restrictions to keep tweens safe. However, they are currently taking a step back to listen to parents, safety experts, and researchers to understand how to move forward in creating the best and safest social media platform for tweens. You can watch this video below.
The goal for Instagram is to provide more ways to supervise and shape online experiences children have online.
It was a smart move deciding to pause the Instagram Kids project. Why? Because even YouTube Kids and Facebook Messenger Kids have issues with providing the best experience for parents and their children. It can be difficult verifying the identities of people who do not yet have IDs. Plus, advertisements can include a wide range of content that is suitable for children. Instagram is trying to keep these concerns in mind. Perhaps Instagram Kids will indeed provide the best online experience for tweens.
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