Instagram pausing “Instagram Kids” after backlash

  • The “Instagram Kids” project has been halted after revelations following a report by The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) that revealed the negative effects of Instagram on young people’s mental health.
  • Instagram reveals that it’s pausing the project to address concerns raised by parents, experts, and regulators.
  • However, Instagram defends the project for those under 13, where parents can supervise and control their experience.
  • The Instagram team have announced that they will continue to develop new parental supervision and wellbeing tools for children’s accounts on the current app.
  • This includes developing a feature called “Take a Break”.
  • This will prompt users to take a break if they repeatedly look at content that may contribute to negative comparisons.
  • Instagram has also announced that they intend to be more transparent about internal research following criticisms from the WSJ.
  • Full story, here.


TikTok has surpassed 1 billion users

  • Following its launch in August 2018, TikTok, the short-form video platform, has surpassed 1 billion users.
  • TikTok’s popularity soared in the pandemic with parent company, ByteDance, reporting reaching a revenue in 2020 of more than double the previous year.
  • Other apps have sought to duplicate TikTok’s success with the launch of Instagram Reels, Snapchat’s Spotlight and YouTube Shorts.
  • TikTok’s popularity continues despite an investigation by The Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) over privacy issues.
  • For more tips on staying safe on TikTok, check out our safety card.
  • Full story, here.

Children’s Commissioner’s report on young people’s views

  • The Children’s Commissioner for England has published findings from The Big Ask survey of children and young people aged 4-17 in England.
  • The survey collected responses from 557,077 children and young people and looked at areas including family, community, health and wellbeing, schools, and life in care.
  • 71% of 9-17‑year‑olds and 94% of 6-8‑year‑olds said they were happy with their life but 20% of children aged 9-17 reported they were unhappy with their mental health.
  • Children in care or with a social worker (aged 9 to 17) are twice as likely to be unhappy with family life, compared to other children.
  • Over half (52%) of 9-17‐year‐olds said that having a good education was a priority for the future.
  • This finding was even higher for children from the most deprived areas (57%), children from ethnic minority backgrounds (60%) and for children with SEND (58%), those in care (57%) and young carers (58%).
  • The full report can be found, here.
  • Full story, here.

Government must commit to strategies to tackle child poverty

  • The House of Commons Work and Pensions Committee has published a report following its inquiry into child poverty in the UK.
  • The report states that a lack of clear leadership and focus has hindered efforts to reduce the number of children growing up in poverty.
  • The report indicated that poverty was partly about having insufficient resources to meet minimum needs, once the cost of living is considered.
  • The committee calls for a new cross-departmental strategy.
  • This should expand upon the new Inter-Ministerial Group’s goal to identity how to address the cost of living and focus on aspects relating to income, earnings and wider social deprivation linked to poverty.
  • The full report can be accessed here.
  • Full story, here.