A children’s version of the Instagram photo platform is not yet available. The development of Instagram Kids has been put on hold, the social media company Facebook, owner of Instagram, has announced.
Instagram is officially only intended for people over 13, but younger children can also create an account in practice. Facebook wants to solve that problem with a modified version for 10- to 12-year-olds, without advertising and with more parental controls.
The company maintains that such a modified version makes sense. Still, even before its launch, there had been a lot of criticism, especially about its possible impact on children’s mental health. As a result, Facebook now says it wants to take more time “to work with parents, experts and politicians to demonstrate the value and necessity of the product,” the social media company writes on its blog.
Criticisms had come from the attorney generals of 44 US states, among other things. In a letter to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, they pointed to studies showing a link between social media use and “an increase in psychological distress and suicidal behaviour in young people.”