After Criticism, Instagram Kids App for Children Under 13 Paused

Instagram, a Facebook-owned photo-sharing app, announced on Monday that work on a "Instagram Kids" version for children under the age of 13 has been put on hold.

The launch of "Instagram Kids" has been met with opposition from US lawmakers and advocacy groups, who have urged the social media giant to abandon its plans, claiming that it has failed to "make meaningful commitments to protecting kids online."

In a blog post, Instagram said, "We believe building 'Instagram Kids' is the right thing to do, but we're pausing the work." It added that it would continue to improve its parental supervision tools.

"The reality is that children are already online, and we believe that creating age-appropriate experiences tailored to them is a far better option for parents than where we are now."

In May of this year, a group of 40 state attorneys general urged Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to abandon plans to launch an Instagram version for children under the age of 13.

The officials wrote in a letter that "use of social media can be detrimental to the health and well-being of children who are not equipped to navigate the challenges of having a social media account."

"Further, Facebook has historically failed to protect the welfare of children on its platforms," they said.
A Facebook spokesman had said the company had "just started exploring a version of Instagram for kids" and said it was committing "to not showing ads in any Instagram experience we develop for people under the age of 13".

The company had also said it agreed that any version of the photo-sharing app Instagram "must prioritise their safety and privacy, and we will consult with experts in child development, child safety, and mental health, and privacy advocates to inform it".