Facebook Working on Instagram Product for Children Under 13 Years Old

November 11 2021

Image for article titled Facebook Working on Instagram Product for Children Under 13 Years Old

Facebook is working on a version of Instagram for children under the age of 13 years old. This product will help parents to further monitor their child's activities when it comes to social media, especially when it comes to photos being shared in an inappropriate manner. Instagram for kids will act as an app separate from the main Instagram. The product will also allow parents to see everything their children are doing on the app, including comments and even time spent on various videos or photos.

Main features 

Ethical guidelines will be included, to make sure that there is no misuse of the product by parents for pedophilia or exploitative purposes. The product will also include a simplified interface and specific tools like archiving and blocking features. A trial period has already been conducted, where children between the age group of 13-17 were allowed to use Instagram without any monitoring from their parents. The study revealed that children loved the idea of having fewer limits and loved not being monitored closely by their parents on social media sites like Instagram and Facebook.

"We're still in an exploration phase as we determine how best to help families stay connected and empower kids to be safe," said Facebook spokeswoman Andrea Saul. "We look forward to more from parents as they begin testing the product."

Age restriction

Facebook will set a minimum age limit of 13 years old to use the service. This is because Facebook is required by law in many countries to require an account with a real name and valid e-mail address, as well as a birthdate that shows you're over the age of 13. The company confirmed that they would not launch any new products for under 13-year-olds without first consulting experts on this matter.

"We've done extensive research around how teens use social media, including Instagram, and have worked with child development experts and organizations like National PTA to understand what's in the best interest of kids," said Leslie Ferraro, Facebook VP of family and learning. "After more than one year of working closely with National PTA, their input has helped form the foundation of our product development approach."

App for parents

Parents who sign up for the service will be able to monitor Instagram on their child's phone by approving their account. This approval will serve as an access code that grants parents complete control over what children do on the app. Parents can also remove Instagram access at any time if they feel that it is necessary.  Facebook plans on adding new tools in the upcoming year that would make it easier for parents to monitor what kind of content their kids are viewing and interacting with on social media sites like Instagram and Facebook.

"We want every kid to have good digital habits throughout childhood," said Ferraro. "This is an area where I believe we can really help."

The product will provide parents with the ability to monitor their children's social media usage, including seeing who their kid follows, how long they spend on Instagram, and even where they are when using the app. They will also be able to block certain hashtags if necessary. For example, parents can block hashtags like #fitness or #skinny. This would prevent children from viewing content that might not be suitable for them.

"We believe this new feature is really going to make a difference in terms of managing how kids use Instagram," says Ferraro. "Our hope is that this shift will shift the way parents think about technology." Many parent companies have been unhappy about Facebook's shift into these child-friendly products because of the potential threat to their business in the future.
"I think Facebook is in danger of looking like Blockbuster," said Bob Pickett, an analyst at Forrester Research. "They are not keeping up with consumer trends, they are slow to innovate and they don't understand how consumers want to use technology. You can't assume that your customers will always need what you make."

Instagram leadership

At this point, Instagram is still under the leadership of Kevin Systrom, who was one of the founders of the company. He has been approached by many other companies for a position as a chief executive but he has declined all offers thus far. 

A spokesperson from Facebook confirmed this report by stating, "We are always working on new ways to help families have the experiences they want on Instagram." A few weeks ago, there was news that Facebook was planning on launching a "dislike" button. However, after speaking with certain officials who work closely with Mark Zuckerberg, this "like" button is just one feature among many more changes that Zuckerberg has in store for his social media giant company.

It is said that this product which will be launched by Instagram will give children the ability to post photos, videos, and even messages that their parents can approve before they are made visible to other users on Instagram. This feature will also allow for children's profiles to be appropriately monitored in terms of adult content.

It is interesting to note that the company is yet to launch this feature which has been attributed as aiding responsible parenting. Facebook is always looking for ways they can help make people more responsible individuals with each new update or product they bring out. It is said that Zuckerberg himself was very displeased when he found out that there were instances of bullying involving his own daughter, Max. He then personally ordered employees to look into resolving the situation of how was handled by social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


According to industry experts, this is a wonderful idea on Facebook's part so they can be more competitive with other social media platforms that are already aimed at children.
"It's clear that Instagram wants to go after Snapchat, where the user base is primarily teen users who are hooked on using disappearing photos and videos of themselves," said Pickett.

Until now, Facebook has not been able to acquire advertising space from certain companies because of its older demographic. However, with this new change in perspective, advertisers may feel more inclined to utilize new opportunities on Instagram where their target audience will soften due to the younger generation of people joining. According to sources close to the matter, Mark Zuckerberg has always had an interest in creating these types of products

Facebook has not yet given a launch date for when this feature will be made available to children under 13 years of age. However, it is expected that the company will come up with an official statement regarding this new product soon enough.