Facebook is ‘pausing’ work on Instagram kids app after widespread criticism

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Facebook is ‘pausing’ work on Instagram kids app after widespread criticism

Instagram says it’s “pausing” development of what’s been dubbed “Instagram Kids” — a version of the photo-sharing app aimed at children under 13. Instagram chief Adam Mosseri announced the news in a blog post today, saying that the Facebook-owned company would continue to work on parental-supervised experiences for younger users.

In a blog post and series of accompanying tweets, Mosseri blames the media and critics for misunderstanding the purpose of the app. “It was never meant for younger kids, but for tweens (aged 10-12),” he writes. In a separate tweet, he adds that news of the project “leaked way before we knew what it would be. People feared the worst, and we had few answers at that stage. It’s clear we need to take more time on this.”

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Pausing development of the app comes after The Wall Street Journal published a series of damning reports into Facebook last week. These included a story revealing how Instagram’s own internal research suggested that the app made body issues worse for teenage girls. Facebook says these reports mischaracterized the company’s studies, but it has so far refused to release its data firsthand for critics and supporters alike to analyze.

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