After rolling out an update that restricts the direct messaging feature for teenagers, Instagram may soon introduce a new platform for kids. As discovered by BuzzFeed News, Facebook is working on a new version of the popular photo social network targeted at children under the age of 13.
According to the report, this new platform was mentioned in an internal company post seen by BuzzFeed News. Written by Instagram VP of product Vishal Shah, the memo says that Facebook wants to offer a safe version of Instagram built entirely for kids.
“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.”
Right now, people under 13 are totally prohibited from using Instagram. There’s even a dedicated support page for reporting profiles of children under 13 registered on Instagram. However, the social network wants to reach this audience somehow.
Earlier this week, Instagram added a new limitation that prevents teens under 18 from receiving messages from adults as a way to protect younger users from illicit content. If an Instagram for kids becomes a reality, it will likely have several restrictions and parental controls behind it.
Although Facebook sees an opportunity in reaching children as the social network is extremely popular among teenagers, it’s unknown how they will benefit from these users as multiple countries have laws that prohibit the targeting of advertisements to children, not to mention other laws that forbid companies from hosting content from users under the age of 13.
It’s also worth mentioning that Facebook currently offers a Messenger Kids, which lets parents define which users their child can chat with via text, audio, or video.