Facebook suspends plan to launch Instagram Kids app as critics circle

Facebook has canceled plans to launch Instagram Kids (a photo-sharing app designed for children aged under 13), after growing criticism in Washington.
Adam Mosseri (the Facebook-owned app) denied that Instagram Kids' development was stopped was an admission of bad ideas. He said that it was the right thing to create a standalone app that gives parents more control and supervision.

Mosseri stated that he still believes in the project and announced these steps on Monday to address them.

This is a result of an investigation by The Wall Street Journal that found that Facebook's internal research had previously shown that Instagram could have a negative impact on many aspects of teenagers wellbeing such as their body image.

Facebook has disputed the WSJ's presentation of its research, but stated that delaying the launch Instagram Kids would allow it to incorporate feedback from parents, policymakers, and other child safety campaigners. Many of these have been strongly critical of the scheme.


44 US attorneys-general wrote to Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg earlier this year and asked him to end plans for Instagram Kids. This letter was sent after Zuckerberg was quizzed by US lawmakers in March about claims that Facebook was created to attract young users.

This month, new UK regulations were put into effect to protect children online. They include checking ages and ensuring a high level privacy default.

Many children have spent more time online in the last 18 months during pandemics lockdowns. This has prompted growing calls for tech companies to do more to protect their mental health and prevent abuse.

Facebook argues that it is more practical to create safe digital spaces where children can be monitored by parents than to ban them from using the internet.

However, parents have taken to Instagram specifically, claiming that it can lure young people into endless scrolls, invade their privacy at vulnerable ages, and make them anxious about their appearance.

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