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Instagram To Create New App For Children After Banning Adults From DMing Them

by : Emma Rosemurgey on :
Instagram To Create New App For Children After Banning Adults From DM'ing ThemPexels

Instagram bosses are making moves to create a version of the picture-sharing app for children under the age of 13.

As it stands, the current app only allows people above the age of 13 to create an account, however it is well known that many users lie about their date of birth when signing up.

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The app has recently been implementing new features to ‘make Instagram safer for the youngest members of our community’, with Vice President of Product Vishal Shah reportedly telling employees the company is making ‘youth work’ a priority.

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‘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,’ Shah’s internal staff announcement read, as per BuzzFeed News.

‘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.’

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It’s unclear what the child-friendly app will consist of, or whether it will be like-for-like of the original, but it all ties in with the technology company’s bid to protect younger users.

The post reportedly said work on the new app would be overseen by Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri and led by Vice President Pavni Diwanji, who joined the company from Google in December.

The news comes just days after it was announced adults would no longer be able to DM under 18s who were not following them back. If they attempt to do so, they’ll receive a message telling them they cannot message that particular person.

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Instagram App on Smartphone ScreenPA Images
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Instagram Bans Adults From DM’ing Children

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During the announcement, Instagram bosses acknowledged the issue around underage teens and kids signing up to the app by lying about their age, explaining that it is developing technology that will be capable of predicting the age of users from their images.

The blog post explained, ‘To address this challenge, we’re developing new artificial intelligence and machine learning technology to help us keep teens safer and apply new age-appropriate features.’

Moves to protect younger users come after reports the app has played a big part in bullying and abuse suffered by children and teens.

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Emma Rosemurgey

Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained journalist who started her career by producing The Royal Rosemurgey newspaper in 2004, which kept her family up to date with the goings on of her sleepy north east village. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining Tyla (formerly Pretty 52) in 2017, and progressing on to UNILAD in 2019.

Topics: Technology, children, Instagram, Now, Safety, Social Media

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Buzzfeed News
  1. Buzzfeed News

    Facebook Is Building An Instagram For Kids Under The Age Of 13