Instagram announced today that it is — at least for now — finally giving up on creating Instagram Kids, a social network designed for kids 13 and under, also known as the worst idea they’ve ever had. (Yes, even worse than the 1977 filter.)
The announcement comes as dozens of lawmakers and child safety groups have formally asked for months for the company not to do this — and while tech companies notoriously hate being told what to do and believe their products are saving, not damaging, humanity, even Instagram can recognize how cursed Instagram for kids would be.
Although Instagram head Adam Mosseri really wants us all to know he still doesn’t think it’s necessarily a bad idea. “Critics of ‘Instagram Kids’ will see this as an acknowledgement that the project is a bad idea,” Mosseri wrote in the announcement. “That’s not the case. The reality is that kids are already online, and we believe that developing age-appropriate experiences designed specifically for them is far better for parents than where we are today.”
Mosseri goes on to talk about what a good idea Instagram Kids is, adding that the platform would have parental controls and no ads. But he says they’re pausing the project to give them time to work with and listen to the concerns of parents, experts, policymakers and regulators — AKA, he probably isn’t looking to add to the already many investigations against Instagram and other big tech companies. Maybe the pause in Instagram Kids will also serve as a time for Mosseri and other Instagram executives to realize that their target audience knows about TikTok, and would probably prefer to spend their time over there anyway.
The announcement also comes after a Wall Street Journal article detailed just how much Instagram knows about how damaging the platform is to the self-esteem and mental health of its teen users — yet fails to make any meaningful policy change around it — a report that Mosseri disputes in the Instagram Kids announcement. “Recent reporting from the WSJ on our research into teen’s experiences on Instagram has raised a lot of questions for people,” he wrote.” To be clear, I don’t agree with how the Journal has reported on our research.”
For some reason, Mosseri then posted a video to Instagram explaining why the company is pausing Instagram Kids. Watch it, below.