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 internet users.
In the blog post and a 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 the blog post. In a separate tweet, he added 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.”
The app’s development was widely criticized by a number of groups. As Kathryn Montgomery, a senior strategist at the Center for Digital Democracy, told BBC News: “[T]he company’s real goal is to expand its lucrative and highly profitable Instagram franchise to an even younger demographic, introducing children to a powerful commercialized social media environment that poses serious threats to their privacy, health and wellbeing.”