Facebook confirmed reports it is building an “Instagram for Kids” for users under the minimum age for its flagship app.
Earlier this week, Instagram had already announced new safety features for teens using its platform.
The announcement of an Instagram for Kids comes only days after Facebook admitted it struggles to verify the age of users who sign up for its flagship apps.
BuzzFeed News were the first to reveal information about Facebook’s plans after Ryan Mac and Craig Silverman obtained an internal company post by Instagram CP of product Vishal Shah revealing the plans: “I’m excited to announce that going forward, we have identified youth work as a priority for Instagram and have added it to our H1 priority list. We will be building a new youth pillar within the community product group to focus on two things: Accelerating our integrity and privacy work to ensure the safest possible experience for teens; and building a version of Instagram that allows people under the age of 13 to safely use Instagram for the first time.”
In the same post, Shah explained that the project will be overseen by Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, and Facebook’s VP Pavni Diwanji, who joined the company last December after working at Google, where she oversaw products focused on kids, including YouTube Kids.
Mosseri told Mac and Silverman there had been a significant increase in demand among kids for apps like Instagram. He also acknowledged the challenges involved in verifying users’ ages, adding, “We have to do a lot here, but part of the solution is to create a version of Instagram for young people or kids where parents have transparency or control. It’s one of the things we’re exploring.”
He said the product was in the early stages of development, and a detailed plan was not yet available.
A Facebook spokesperson responded to our request for comments, saying: “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—as we did with Messenger Kids—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.”