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Facebook reportedly working on version of Instagram for kids under 13

Instagram
(Image credit: aap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Instagram for Kids, or Kidstagram as they almost certainly won’t call it, is on the way, according to a recent leak. The service will target the under-13s who are currently prohibited from using the service under Facebook’s terms of service. The move will likely aim to convert these young people to ‘grammers for life by getting them hooked early. 

Facebook has, apparently, identified the youth market as a priority for Instagram and intends to launch a service for younger users that’s designed with their specific safety needs in mind. The project will apparently be led by newish recruit Pavni Diwanji who’s absolutely not stranger to this sort of service. Diwanji led Google’s YouTube Kids service, making her ideal for the role. 

Documents seen by Buzzfeed News detail comments made by Vishal Shah, the Vice President of Product at Instagram. 

Shah posted to the company’s internal message board: “I’m excited to announce that going forward, we have identified youth work as a priority for Instagram and have added it to our H1 priority list. We will be building a new youth pillar within the Community Product Group to focus on two things: (a) accelerating our integrity and privacy work to ensure the safest possible experience for teens and (b) building a version of Instagram that allows people under the age of 13 to safely use Instagram for the first time.”

The posting comes just two days after the company pledged to do more to protect young users who have been bullied or abused on the platform. In a blog post, Instagram accepted certain improvements were overdue. Young people can, and this will shock you, simply lie about their age to get early access to the service, the company admitted. 

Additionally there are plans to stop adults sending directs to kids who don’t follow them. The company also suggests other measures, like not showing teen content to adults in their news feed and encouraging teens to make their accounts private. All decent ideas, but not exactly earth shatteringly new concepts either. 

A tech journalist with many years of experience, Ian got his start writing about the battle between HD DVD and Blu-ray. Technology might have moved on, but there's still plenty of skirmishes to report on.