Facebook is working on an Instagram version for children under the age of thirteen. The intention is for the profile to be supervised by the parents. However, users are not reassured because many teenagers are just confronted with bullying through social media.
Buzzfeed initially leaked the news, which was able to view an internal memo from the company. A spokesperson has meanwhile confirmed that a new target group of 6 to 12 years is being targeted.
You can compare it with the Messenger Kids app, it sounds. “Kids are increasingly asking their parents if they can join apps that help them keep up with their friends.” However, there are not many options at the moment. We now want to provide an answer to that. Parents remain in control, but their children can discover new hobbies and interests.
Planning in the embryo phase
The minimum age for social media in many countries is 13 years, but this legislation can be circumvented if there is a specific children’s version. According to Instagram, it is also the solution to prevent lying about ages.
“In some countries, a passport is compulsory in the late teens.” Start checking youngsters like that. “An Instagram version where parents continue to supervise may be part of the solution, but our plans are still in the embryo phase,” says big boss Adam Mosseri.
A few days ago, Instagram also took steps to make the app safer for youth. For example, adult users are no longer allowed to send private messages to teenagers who do not follow them. Instagram says it is developing new machine learning technology to detect someone’s age.
Young people will also be notified themselves if they chat with a user with a ‘suspicious profile’ that they follow. Think of people who, for example, send a large number of a friend or message requests to people under the age of 18. The young person will be given a choice to continue sending or reporting, or blocking the user.
“Make profile private”
The new security enhancements will be launched in several countries this month. The whole world will follow soon.
Teens who log in to Instagram are already encouraged to make their profile private. If they choose to create a public account, Instagram will later send them a notification highlighting a private account’s benefits.