Facebook is expected to introduce a restricted version of the popular social media app for children under the age of 13. The kid-friendly version of Instagram allows Facebook to broaden its app reach as they look to continue to grow its appeal across all age groups.
The social media company has reportedly already formed a team to build out the kid-version of Instagram, first announcing internally at Facebook earlier this week. Variety received a quote from Facebook rep, Joe Osborne, who confirmed the project stating, “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. 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 — like we did with Messenger Kids — that are suitable for kids, managed by parents.”
Facebook first launched the Messenger Kids app, also for children under 13, back in 2017. However, it was met with backlash, especially after a bug in 2019 that allowed children on the app to join groups with strangers. At the time Facebook said it was only a minor glitch that affected a small percentage of group chats.
The social media giant is currently in the beginning stages of producing the Instagram-for-kids app. It is expected that the app will fall under the U.S.’s Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. The news comes just days after Instagram announced a series of updates that included new resources and features that pose as the company’s “ongoing efforts keep our youngest community members safe.” Instagram is also developing a new AI technology that will help it detect app users’ ages.
There is currently no additional information regarding when the Instagram-for-kids app will roll out.