Instagram is reportedly working on a new version of the social network suitable for children under the age of 13. With the new platform, the company expects to help stop the common practice of young kids signing up for accounts on the main app by lying about their age.
According to a recent report on BuzzFeed, Instagram’s parent company, Facebook has announced its plans for a preteens-only version of Instagram in an internal mail, allowing the age group to use the photo- and video-sharing app “safely” for the first time.
As it stands, Instagram doesn’t allow people under 13 to sign up for accounts. However, plenty of children ignore this policy. Recently the social networking giant revealed that it is working on developing new artificial intelligence and machine learning technology to detect someone’s age when they’re creating a new account. However, the company hasn’t revealed how the detection will work.
— Ryan Mac🙃 (@RMac18) March 18, 2021
Shortly after the news broke, a Facebook spokesperson confirmed that the app will work similarly to the Messenger Kids app that is designed for those between 6 and 12 with parents controlling the accounts.
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.”
This latest news comes after Instagram announced several new policies to protect children on the platform. This includes banning adults from sending direct messages to teenagers that do not follow them.
We will have to wait to see if Instagram’s attempt to protect children on the platform is successful. For instance, Google introduced YouTube Kids, app designed for children. However, there were several instances where adult contents made their way through the filter to children.