Facebook could launch a ‘parent-controlled’ version of Instagram for under-13s

By Iain Leggat
Friday, 19th March 2021, 12:39 pm
Updated Friday, 19th March 2021, 12:40 pm
Facebook could launch a ‘parent-controlled’ version of Instagram for under-13s (Photo: Shutterstock)
Facebook could launch a ‘parent-controlled’ version of Instagram for under-13s (Photo: Shutterstock)

Facebook is considering launching a version of Instagram aimed at children under the age of 13.

Reports by BuzzFeed News said that executives at the social media giant are discussing a version of the popular photo sharing app that can be primarily used by kids.

Allow under 13s to ‘safely’ use Instagram

Children under the age of 13 are currently forbidden from using Instagram, according to its terms and conditions.

An internal announcement revealed that Instagram has “identified youth work as a priority” for the company.

The announcement, sent to employees on Thursday (18 Mar), said: “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.”

A blog post published early this week did not mention the proposed new social media service, but revealed that the company was doing nothing to prevent Instagram users from lying about their age upon registration.

Facebook said it would overcome that by using machine learning in combination with the registration age to determine people’s ages on the platform.

There are currently no details on how the new app would work, nor what it would look like.

‘A parent-controlled experience’

A spokesperson for Facebook told the Guardian that the company was exploring a “parent-controlled” version of Instagram, which would be similar to the Messenger Kids app, which is designed for kids between the ages of six and 12.

The spokesperson said: “Increasingly kids are asking their parents if they can join apps that help them keep up with their friends. Right now there aren’t many options for parents, so we’re working on building additional products … that are suitable for kids, managed by parents.

“We’re exploring bringing a parent-controlled experience to Instagram to help kids keep up with their friends, discover new hobbies and interests, and more.”