Facebook hits pause on Instagram Kids as concern mounts over impact on teens

From CNET: Instagram is pausing the development of Instagram Kids, a dedicated service it's building for children, in order to spend time focusing on developing parental supervision tools. It also intends to use the hiatus to persuade the wider world that the an Instagram app for kids is, in fact, a good and necessary thing.

The news that Instagram was working on a dedicated app for kids was first reported by Buzzfeed back in March. Instagram confirmed the service was in development, and was met with outrage from rights organizations, as well as bullying and mental health groups, which were all concerned about the impact of giving younger children access to social media. Over the past month, reporting by The Wall Street Journal raised concerns that Facebook's internal research showed Instagram to be bad for teens, which added to the pressure on the company.

But even though Instagram is suspending work on its kids app for now, it's likely such an app will still make an appearance in the future.

In a blog post published Monday, head of Instagram Adam Mosseri said he still believes building Instagram Kids is "the right thing to do." As kids are already online and misrepresenting their age to access Instagram (which is only accessible to over-13s), he said that Instagram thought it best for children in the 10-12 age group to have an age-appropriate service dedicated to them. Instagram Kids will not be designed to replicate the adult version of the app, but to be ad-free and overseen directly by parents, he added.

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