A safer version of Instagram for kids under 13 is in development

Instagram is following in the footsteps of Facebook by creating a version of its platform tailored for kids under 13. Just a few days ago, Instagram outlined a new set of safety features to help parents ensure that their children have a healthy experience on the platform, and that kids under 13 should be kept from signing up from Instagram. As per BuzzFeed News, which cites an internal note written by VP of Products Vishal Shah, a version of Instagram for kids aged 13 or lower is currently under development. 

“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.”

Additionally, Instagram chief Adam Mosseri also confirmed the plans in an interview with BuzzFeed News. Mosseri mentioned that while the company prohibits children below 13 from signing up, it is a tricky task to identify their age, especially considering the fact most young users don’t get proper identification documents a tad late in their teens. To recall, parent company Facebook already has such a product called Messenger Kids, and it might serve as a template for Instagram to follow. 

“We have to do a lot here. 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”
Instagram chief Adam Mosseri via BuzzFeed News

Instagram has lately come under the scanner for being one of the most toxic social media platforms that elevate stress, setting unrealistic expectations, bullying, and online abuse. Lately, the company has launched (or is actively testing) features that can curb the toxicity on the platform such as hidden likes and disabling accounts that send abusive messages, but a lot more needs to be done. 

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I’ve been writing about consumer technology for over three years now, having worked with names such as NDTV and Beebom in the past. Aside from covering the latest news, I’ve reviewed my fair share of devices ranging from smartphones and laptops to smart home devices. I also have interviewed tech execs and appeared as a host in YouTube videos talking about the latest and greatest gadgets out there.

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