Instagram plans to roll out an app for kids 13 and under

Think of it as mini Instagram. Could it work?

(Image credit: LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP via Getty Images)

Are you prepared for your little ones to enter the social media realm? Whether you "like" it or not, Facebook (Instagram's parent company) is working to create an Instagram app for children 13 and under, according to the Associated Press. 

Pretty soon youngsters could be amping up their selfie game and creating their own unique hashtags. And judging from the team's enthusiasm, it seems like it's only a matter of time, though specific release dates have yet to be revealed. Instagram’s vice president of product, Vishal Shah, did state that "youth work" is a top company priority, according to BuzzFeed News. 

Technically, federal privacy rules require that app users are 13 and older, yet that hasn't stopped children from getting hold of their own account and wreaking virtual havoc on peers' posts and stories. Naturally, safety and bullying have come into question. How soon is too soon for social media, or is it just expected that everyone's using Instagram nowadays, no matter their age?

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How do people feel about Instagram for kids?

Well, let's just say older, savvier social media users are a bit skeptical about the results.

Even though some people have their doubts, Instagram is forced to address safety with this new venture. Before news of a new kid-friendly app spread, the platform released a blog post detailing how it will work to keep its youngest users (who technically should be 13 and up) safe. It does not make mention of the new app, however. 

What it does detail are new efforts the team is putting in place: In conjunction with The Child Mind Institute and ConnectSafely, Instagram's new Parent's Guide provides tips, tools, and updates about privacy settings to ensure mom and dad are in the loop about their kid's social adventures, though it is not available in every country quite yet. There will be new efforts to ensure users are submitting their real age, and there will be restricted DMs between adults and teens who aren't following one another.

Should we expect kiddie influencers in the near future?

Danielle Valente

Danielle is a writer for woman&home and My Imperfect Life, where she particularly enjoys covering lifestyle and entertainment news. She was previously the editor of Time Out New York Kids and a news editor at Elite Daily. When she's not working, you can find her reading a good book and enjoying a cup of coffee. Follow her @dvwrites.