Facebook has decided to pause plans to launch a “kids” version of the Instagram app aimed at children between the ages of 10-12.
Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri announced the decision to take a step back to approach Instagram Kids with more thought and care.
“While we believe building ‘Instagram Kids’ is the right thing to do, Instagram, and its parent company Facebook, will re-evaluate the project at a later date. In the interim Instagram will continue to focus on teen safety and expanding parental supervision features for teens,” the company said in a statement.
Following the decision to pause its work, Facebook said that it would address concerns with parents, experts, policymakers, and regulators.
Meanwhile, a group of US Democratic lawmakers has called on the company to instead completely abandon the project.
Facebook has also shared more details about its internal research into Instagram’s impact on teenage girls. The social media giant hits back at a report on the research after it was made public in The Wall Street Journal (WSJ).
In a blog post, Facebook Vice President and Head of Research, Pratiti Raychoudhury, dismissed the WSJ’s assessment of internal research as not accurate and denied the claims that Instagram was toxic for teenage girls.
On September 14, the WSJ published a story on The Facebook Files focused on data suggesting that Instagram had an extremely damaging effect on teenagers, especially teenage girls.
The newspaper said Facebook was well aware of the harm its products were doing to teens and that the company “has made minimal efforts to address these issues and plays them down in public”.