Facebook is exploring a version of Instagram for users under the age of 13

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on March 19, 2021

The news comes shortly after Instagram announced a range of new features and updates to improve safety for young users

Facebook is working on creating a version of Instagram, its photo-sharing app for kids aged under 13.

As first reported by BuzzFeed News, Vishal Shah, Instagram’s vice president of product announced the development on an employee message board on Thursday.

The social media major is prioritising “youth work” for Instagram in H1 2021, as announced by Shah and quoted in the report.

Apart from new safety features for teens on Instagram, the platform will also work on building a version of Instagram for users aged under 13. Instagram currently has a minimum age requirement of 13. It asks new users to provide their age when they sign up for an account for some time.

Instagram to apply new age-appropriate features to improve safety of teens

Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri confirmed the BuzzFeed News report.

“Kids are increasingly asking their parents if they can join apps that help them keep up with their friends. A version of Instagram where parents have control like we did w/ Messenger Kids, is something we’re exploring. We’ll share more down the road,” Mosseri wrote on Twitter.

The project will be overseen by Mosseri and led by Pavni Diwanji, a vice president who joined Facebook in December, as per the report. Diwanji has previously worked at Google overseeing its children-focused products such as YouTube Kids.

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The news comes shortly after Instagram announced a range of new features and updates to improve safety for young users on the platform.

The platform has announced that it will limit the ability of adults on the platform to interact with teens that follow them. Adult users on the platform will not be allowed to direct message users below 18 that do not follow them.

Apart from this, it will also start using prompts or “safety notices” to advice young users to remain cautious in conversations with adults they’re already connected to.

It will be exploring ways to make it more difficult for adults who display “suspicious behaviour” to find and interact with teens on the platform in the coming weeks. It will also prompt young users to opt for a private account once they sign up, it said.

Published on March 19, 2021

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