Instagram is an extremely popular social media platform here in the UK. Whilst its technically only for individuals 13 years of age and over, it is often used by children younger than 13.

Either by children under 13 setting up an account on their own and claiming to be over 13, or by parents setting up an account for their child with the understanding that their child is mature enough to use the platform.

The use of Instagram by young children has not gone unnoticed by Facebook. So, what have they decided to do about it?

Instagram’s Plans

Instagram has stated that they are going to develop a separate Instagram app which is designed for children under the age of 13.  

Facebook (the parent company of Instagram) already has a Messengers Kids app which has around 7 million users each month in over 70 countries. An Instagram Kids version following this tried and tested method makes perfect sense.

This Instagram for Kids version would allow youngsters under the age of 13 to use Instagram in a safe and controlled manner. One idea is that this version would give an allocated parent the ability to see what their child is accessing via Instagram and set perimeters on what they view as acceptable for their child.

Allowing children to access a safe version of Instagram gives them the ability to reach out to friends online whilst keeping them safe from the dangers that come with social media platforms. Children nowadays are growing up in a world where social media is as natural as breathing, by giving them the chance to explore and learn how to use social media in a safe environment will no doubt benefit them in the long run.

The idea is very much in its infancy phase, when Instagram does launch this idea I am sure there will be a very critical eye on it by many parents and online safety organizations.

What Are Instagram Doing in the Meantime

Instagram has announced that they have introduced new tools which are designed to protect the younger users of the platform. Those new tools include a restriction that blocks adults from messaging teens who don’t follow them.

The platform is also doubling down on its policies and procedures to help protect individuals from bullying and abuse.

What Else Can be Done?

When it comes to protecting children online, the onus is still very much on the parent/s themselves. If you want to know more about how to protect youngsters online then check out Net Aware – – which has lots of useful guides and information on just this topic.

Published: 23rd Mar 2021

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