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Facebook Falls as Public Outcry Forces it to Pause Instagram Kids By Investing.com


© Reuters.

By Dhirendra Tripathi

Investing.com – Facebook stock (NASDAQ:) fell 0.8% in Monday’s premarket trading as the social media giant decided to pause work on Instagram Kids to build parental supervision tools for it, first.

For years, the company was accused of not paying attention to how its popular apps impact young teens. It disputes this claim. The company says it is addressing the problem by developing an app that targets a younger audience.

The company claims it is developing an updated version of the popular app in order to tackle the problem that children might misrepresent themselves to be teens when they weren’t. The company was relying on the app’s ability to identify the age, a feature that was exploited by children.

It now wants to give parents control of how their children use the app.. During this time, it said it will “listen to parents, experts, policymakers and regulators to listen to their concerns, and to demonstrate the value and importance of this project for younger teens online today.”

“We firmly believe that it’s better for parents to have the option to give their children access to a version of Instagram that is designed for them — where parents can supervise and control their experience — than relying on an app’s ability to verify the age of kids who are too young to have an ID,” Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, said in a blog post on the company’s website.

Mosseri stated that the updated version of Instagram was not intended for children younger than 10-12 years old.  It will require parental permission to join, it won’t have ads, and it will have age-appropriate content and features, he wrote.

Facebook’s move comes after deep research by journalists at The Wall Street Journal showed that Instagram use was leading to high anxiety, mental-health, body-image and confidence issues in teenage girls.

The WSJ said the company is “acutely aware that the products and systems central to its business success routinely fail”. These documents reveal that Facebook makes little efforts to resolve these issues, and downplays them in the public eye according to the WSJ report.

Mosseri disputed these claims.  

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Mike Robinson
Mike covers the financial, utilities and biotechnology sectors for Street Register. He has been writing about investment and personal finance topics for almost 12 years. Mike has an MBA in Finance from Wake Forest University.