We’re following up on a little bit of news we brought you a while back about how Instagram’s mother company, Facebook, was planning on making a version of the app specifically targeted at kids. Well, that concept wasn’t well-received as far as some consumer advocacy groups are concerned and they made that known in a collective letter to Facebook from 35 organizations united against the idea.
As PetaPixel reports, the app was envisioned as a way to offer a safe space on social media for kids and protect them from bullying and predatory behavior.
Yet the major concern for consumer groups appears to be Facebook’s attempt at monetizing a younger audience by acclimating them to social media and making it an integral part of their lives.
The letter from the groups says in part:
“Excessive screen media use and social media use is linked to a number of risks for children and adolescents, including obesity, lower psychological wellbeing, decreased happiness, decreased quality of sleep,5,6 increased risk of depression, and increases in suicide-related outcomes such as suicidal ideation, plans, and attempts. Fifty-nine percent of US teens have reported being bullied on social media, an experience which has been linked to increased risky behaviors such as smoking and increased risk of suicidal ideation. Adolescent girls report feeling pressure to post sexualized selfies as a means of generating attention and social acceptance from their peers.”
Yet keeping kids off of apps and social media entirely is a losing game so Facebook and app makers are in a pretty difficult situation because the one company that decides to defect from the concept that kids should be off of social media platforms could end up capturing much of that market in the process.
What do you think of Facebook’s plan to make an Instagram app targeted at kids? Let us know your thoughts on this in the comments section below.
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