Facebook is said to be delaying the release of an Instagram app for users under the age of 13 in order to protect children from exploitation. We have confirmed with a person with knowledge of the project that Instagram 2.0, expected to be a separate app with a new look and layout, will now only be available to users 13 and older.
The latest app was previously slated to release some time next month, shortly after the company released its last update, Instagram X.0. That app’s main selling point was a new look and simplicity designed to appeal to a younger audience. A beta version was also available to some of Instagram’s 12 million users, but now the company is rescinding that feature, as well.
An employee at the company told Quartz that the social media behemoth moved to drop the beta for a select group of users when it became clear that it was problematic. That app, along with the new video app released earlier this month, had been used by kids who were able to download them from a site called App.org. That site was advertised as a way for children to get Instagram and Snapchat accounts. However, users had to be at least 13.
While only a small group of preteens were able to get a beta version of the app, the company decided to extend that option to everyone due to the “data scandal” that led to the resignation of CEO Mark Zuckerberg last month. The data breach led Facebook to overhaul its own privacy practices and said it would pursue legislation that would bring the age of an internet user under the age of 13 to 21.
— Reporter Leigh King contributed to this report.
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