Facebook pauses Instagram Kids development following widespread concerns

Instagram logo on a Galaxy S10
Instagram logo on a Galaxy S10 (Image credit: Joe Maring / iMore)

What you need to know

  • Following concerns voiced by many, Facebook is pausing plans for Instagram Kids.
  • Instagram Kids was supposed to be a version of Instagram aimed at children.
  • Facebook is building new parent controls following outcry.

Instagram owner Facebook has today announced plans to pause its planned Instagram Kids launch, allowing it time to build new parental supervision tools.

In a press release penned by Instagram chief Adam Mosseri, Facebook says that it believes it's best to give kids access to a special version of Instagram, rather than them use the normal version.

We firmly believe that it's better for parents to have the option to give their children access to a version of Instagram that is designed for them — where parents can supervise and control their experience — than relying on an app's ability to verify the age of kids who are too young to have an ID.

Mosseri goes on to say that the project is being paused to allow for more work to be done with parents.

While we stand by the need to develop this experience, we've decided to pause this project. This will give us time to work with parents, experts, policymakers and regulators, to listen to their concerns, and to demonstrate the value and importance of this project for younger teens online today.

The Newsroom post goes on to tackle the fact that Facebook's move will be seen as an acknowledgment that the idea was a bad one. Mosseri says that is not the case despite people being concerned about the impact Instagram can have on children.

Critics of "Instagram Kids" will see this as an acknowledgment that the project is a bad idea. That's not the case. The reality is that kids are already online, and we believe that developing age-appropriate experiences designed specifically for them is far better for parents than where we are today.We're not the only company to think so. Our peers recognized these issues and built experiences for kids. YouTube and TikTok have versions of their app for those under 13.

Parents can read the full Newsroom statement to see where Facebook stands as of today, but it's clear the company wants to push forward with a version of Instagram specially designed for kids. It just isn't ready to do it just yet.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.