Facebook-owned social network service, Instagram, is planning to release a platform for kids under 13. This platform will be launched as a separate application offering parental control features and strict regulations against the collection of kids’ data.
Why does Facebook want to release a separate version of Instagram for kids?
According to the company’s spokesperson Joe Osborne, “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.”
Doing away with the minimum age criterion on the current app will not be a good idea as the content on Instagram is not solely meant for kids. However, a new platform with some parental control features will surely help younger users to develop hobbies, make friends, and find new interests via Instagram.
What will be the features of Instagram for kids?
The new platform for kids will have the following features.
- Restricted user:Facebook wants to release a new platform with parental control features. This will ensure that kids get the maximum benefit from social media without getting addicted to it.
- AI integration:To get permission for creating an account, many people tend to lie about their date of birth. The kids’ version of Instagram will use AI techniques like Machine Learning to detect the user’s age.
- Legal: The new app of Instagram would fall under the U.S.’s Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. This is a federal law of the US that restricts internet services from gathering data from children under 13.
According to Instagram, “We know that young people can lie about their date of birth. We want to do more to stop this from happening, but verifying people’s age online is complex and something many in our industry are grappling with.”
What are other dedicated platforms for kids?
It’s not the first time a dedicated platform for kids is going to be released. The famous video streaming service, YouTube has a separate platform named YouTube Kids for children between 4-12. The YouTube Kids offers tailored content and parental control features so that kids get a white-listed video experience.
TikTok is another video-sharing social networking service owned by ByteDance that offers a dedicated version of its platform for kids under 13. According to ByteDance, The ‘TikTok for Younger Users’ “offers additional safeguards and privacy protections designed specifically for a younger audience”.
What are the probable concerns regarding ‘Instagram for Kids’?
Facebook released the Messenger Kids in 2017 although the service raised concerns from consumer-privacy advocates. Due to a bug in the application, children got connected with strangers. However, regarding ‘Instagram for Kids’, the company holds firm ground on kids’ privacy. According to reports, the development of the new platform would be under the supervision of the Head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri. The project will be led by Pavni Diwanji, Instagram’s Vice President who previously managed YouTube Kids.
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