Facebook puts Instagram Kids app on hold

U.S. lawmakers and advocacy groups have opposed the launch of "Instagram Kids"

  
Instagram app is seen on a smartphone in this illustration taken, July 13, 2021.

Instagram app is seen on a smartphone in this illustration taken, July 13, 2021.

Reuters/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

Instagram has hit pause on a new app that it is creating for kids, the Facebook-owned photo-sharing app said on Monday, in a move that comes amid growing opposition for the project.

Instagram Kids was touted to require parental permission to join, and provide ad-free, age-appropriate content, but U.S. lawmakers and advocacy groups alike have urged the social media giant to drop its launch plans, citing safety concerns.

"We won't stop pressuring Facebook until they permanently pull the plug," said Josh Golin, executive director of Fairplay, an advocacy group focused on kids.

Instagram said in a blog post that building Instagram Kids was the right thing to do, but it was pausing the work and would continue building on its parental supervision tools.

"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," it said.

The Wall Street Journal published a report earlier this month, focusing on data suggesting Instagram had a harmful effect on teenagers, particularly teen girls and that Facebook had made minimal efforts to address the issue. However, Facebook has said the report is inaccurate.

(Reporting by Eva Mathews in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri and Anil D'Silva) ((Eva.Mathews@thomsonreuters.com;))


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