Instagram Temporarily Shelves Idea for Kids’ Version of the App Amid Bipartisan Criticism


Facebook-owned Instagram has temporarily paused plans to unveil a new kids’ version of the popular photo-sharing social media application after fielding vocal criticism from Republican and Democrat leaders alike.

The idea was purportedly to create a version of the app that could be easily monitored by parents and was ad-free, yet 44 attorneys general from states and territories have called upon Facebook to put a stop to the plan, The Christian Post reports.

Nonetheless, Instagram is insistent they’d like to proceed and that the pause in the app’s development is only temporary.

“I still firmly believe that it’s a good thing to build a version of Instagram that’s safe for tweens, but we want to take the time to talk to parents and researchers and safety experts and get to more consensus about how to move forward,” Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, told the “Today” show on Monday.

Some are concerned over reports that Instagram, which allows users over the age of 13, has a negative impact on body image.

The Wall Street Journal issued a report which stated that 32% of young girls say that when they’re feeling bad about their appearance, Instagram makes them feel worse because “comparisons on Instagram can change how young women view and describe themselves.”

Facebook has contributed its own lengthy research to the discussion and insists that it’s not a simple matter of Instagram making teens feel bad about their bodies. They even presented their findings to Congress this week as they detailed in a blog post, claiming that they’ve found that teen girls who are struggling with body image find that Instagram helps rather than hurts their self-confidence.

Mosseri, in a statement, made clear that the plans for the kids’ app has by no means been halted.

“Critics of ‘Instagram Kids’ will see this as an acknowledgment that the project is a bad idea. That’s not the case,” he explained, also affirming that he believes creating the app is “the right thing to do.”

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