Fb places plans to construct Instagram for youths on pause after dealing with opposition

Facebook says it is putting its plans to develop a version of Instagram specifically for those under the age of 13 on hold after fierce opposition from some child safety advocates.

“Although we stand by the need to develop this experience, we decided to pause this project,” the company said in a blog post.

“This will give us time to work with parents, experts, policy makers and regulators to listen to their concerns and to demonstrate online the value and importance of this project for younger teenagers today.”

Facebook had been working on a version of the photo and video sharing app specifically for children. The company’s rationale for the project is that children would be better served having a version of the popular app designed specifically for them than downloading the adult version and relying on the app’s ability to filter content.

“There will be no ads and it will have age-appropriate content and features,” said Facebook, noting that both YouTube and TikTok have versions specifically for children.

The company announced the plans in March, and the idea met with hostility from lawmakers and child advocates almost immediately.

In the United States, attorneys general from 44 states signed a letter to the company asking them to stop the plan, saying research suggests that children “are just too young to handle the complexities of what they encounter online, including inappropriate content and online relationships where other users, including predators, can obscure their identities through the anonymity of the internet. “

Child safety groups also harshly criticized the plan, arguing that encouraging children to spend time on Instagram could have a negative impact on them in terms of screen time associated with it, as well as the impact on their mental health and themselves. Appreciation and budding consumer decisions.

Facebook is being more closely controlled by US regulators

The company delivered a lengthy response over the weekend disproving the Wall Street Journal’s extensive coverage of the backlash.

The journal’s coverage of the matter found that Facebook’s own research showed the company that teenage girls who reported struggling with body image said Instagram did worse rather than better.

Facebook released this slide of its own internal research showing that while many teenagers reported the service did more good than harm, it was admittedly a net negative for teenage girls with body image issues. (Facebook)

While the company is pausing plans for the time being, it makes it clear that it still believes that a kid-centric version of the app is the best way to continue in the long run.

“Instagram Kids critics will see this as confirmation that the project is a bad idea,” said Instagram boss Adam Mosseri. “That’s not the case.”

The decision comes as the social media giant comes under even closer scrutiny by regulators. Last December, the Federal Trade Commission and 48 states opened an antitrust investigation into the company. Facebook executives are due to appear before a US Senate committee on the matter on Thursday.

While the reach of the core Facebook app seems to be slowing down, Instagram doesn’t. The stock market currently values ​​Facebook at just under $ 1 trillion overall, but Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Mandeep Singh says more than half that value could come from Instagram alone.

About 40 percent of Facebook’s ad revenue already comes from Instagram, and total revenue could surpass that of the rest of the company by 2023.

Given that, he says that from a business perspective, it’s probably best to suspend the plan. “Facebook’s decision to suspend the launch of Instagram Kids comes at the right time, in our opinion, as the move would likely have increased regulatory scrutiny,” he said.

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