Kid Friendly Instagram?!

Reading Time: 5 Minutes

Why Not?

Join us today as we discuss Instagram developing a kids-only version of its app, how this same approach has (or hasn’t!) worked for YouTube, and the benefits this has for marketing!

Your Weekly Social is Pullman Marketing’s premiere recap show discussing social media, trends, news, and updates across all manner of platforms including Facebook, Instagram, and Tik Tok!


Alyssa Mullins 0:00
Hi, everyone! I’m Alyssa.

Adam Jones 0:02
And I’m Adam!

Alyssa Mullins 0:03
And welcome to your weekly social!

We’re gonna talk about Instagram today.

Adam Jones 0:12
Okay, what about it?

Alyssa Mullins 0:12
They’re doing some new things, and they’re making a kid friendly app.

Adam Jones 0:17
Kid friendly…

Alyssa Mullins 0:19
So like YouTube for kids!

Adam Jones 0:20
Did that work?

Alyssa Mullins 0:24
…I see parents using it.

Adam Jones 0:25
But do the kids use it?

Alyssa Mullins 0:27
If the parents hand it to them, then it works.

Adam Jones 0:32
Okay, so… Sorry, I did cut you off. So what is it? What is Instagram for kids cuz I’m a little bit lost.

Alyssa Mullins 0:38
Instagram for kids is basically going to be Instagrams way of, anyone under I think it’s 18 or 13- I saw two ages there. But anyone under age basically is going to be on that platform instead. And it’s a bit more appropriate, it helps keep younger kids safe, it helps- maybe- promote more of a positive environment, instead of the various kinds of things that social media can bring.

Adam Jones 1:12
When you say, keeping kids safe, like, assuming only kids are using it, what are they hoping to achieve with that?

Alyssa Mullins 1:22
So, they’re pretty much hoping to keep kids safe from people who…

Adam Jones 1:28
It’s okay to say predators. I think we’re safe to say that word. Other words, we might not be able to say because of YouTube.

Alyssa Mullins 1:33
Yeah. Keep them safe from predators. And just make sure that everyone else on the platform, at least on the Instagram for kids one, is who they say they are, and the age that they say they are.

Adam Jones 1:48
Gotcha. Okay. And that is a little bit interesting, because there is a group called Bark. If you haven’t heard of them, you should definitely go check it out. They’re a really cool organization that tries to fight against predators and stuff. They put out a video- it’s been a little while- but like, they posed as like an 11 year old and had like, very inappropriate images, direct messages, and even a video chat request within four or five minutes of posting the profile. And it’s hard because, like, if you look at it- it’s an 11 year old. Someone’s stuff was doctored up, and you had people saying, “How old are you?” And granted, like, I grew up in a different time, like chat rooms, like old school IRC chat rooms. It was just “Oh, ASL.” age, sex location.

Alyssa Mullins 2:48
I didn’t know that.

Adam Jones 2:49
Yeah, that was kind of the weird, trendy thing. And like, I played the online games like Yahoo Chess. I don’t… I don’t know if you identify with that, in any way.

Alyssa Mullins 3:00
I’ve played some like online games and stuff like that, where there are chat rooms involved.

Adam Jones 3:07
Like what?

Alyssa Mullins 3:08
I did at one point attempt to learn how to play chess and everything. So I did chess, and then when I gave up on chess because it was too hard I started playing checkers, and both of those on whatever site it was on had chat rooms so you could talk to the person that you were playing with.

Adam Jones 3:24
So this might be dating us a little bit, but did you ever do like Runescape or Gaia Online Neopets?

Alyssa Mullins 3:32
I had a Neopets, forgot the login after maybe the second time, and I did have a Gaia Online. And even then you were talking with people from, you know, maybe in your local area or somewhere else in the world and you did not know who they were besides their username, which was usually like FluffyUnicorns92 you know?

Adam Jones 3:54
Or HyperdragonX!

Alyssa Mullins 3:56
That was probably the… Yeah, that one- not fluffy unicorn.

Adam Jones 4:03
So did you ever grow up with like, I guess these worries or insecurities? Or felt like there was a need for protection at those stages?

Alyssa Mullins 4:13
I did. But thankfully I also had my dad to tell me, “Don’t talk to strangers in person or online.” And so anytime I was playing an online game (after I tried to learn checkers and chess), I was always aware of who I was talking to and I never shared any personal information. And even just kept myself as anonymous as you could on a gaming thing like that.

Adam Jones 4:41
So then, what do you think the difference is from what we may have grown up with vs. this Instagram stuff? Like, we like Instagram for advertising- it does work, it is effective. I like the idea of segmenting out younger generations or younger people who honestly aren’t going to be the purchasers. Even if you’re advertising a product for kids, usually we want to advertise to the decision makers, the parents. So I’m okay getting rid of some of the audience, or some of the potential wasted spend. So as an advertiser, I don’t mind this approach and this shift. But what are your thoughts on how to approach the platform in general? And how this will impact society?

Alyssa Mullins 5:34
Well, in all honesty, kids are pretty smart. We don’t always give them enough credit, I feel like. I have seen kids who are five or six, and they are navigating through their tablet, or even their own iPhone at that point. And they know how to change their own privacy settings on their phone; they know how to download different apps and do other things, and maybe there are passwords protecting some stuff… But on an app like Instagram, you normally think it’s kind of harmless in some ways, where you’re like, “Okay, yeah, we’ll post a photo, like family photos and things like that!” Which is great. But it’s also a platform where you can post photos, where you can post videos, where you can follow someone halfway across the world. And in some ways, it’s really similar to things like Gaia Online, and those other outdated games and apps and stuff like that, where you can kind of set up this persona for yourself, because society sees social media as something where it’s true, it’s what you do with your life, but it’s not your whole life. And it may not even be who you are. And so with that you can create your fake persona. I could pretend to be someone I’m really not, and use some strange image like a tree outside, and that would be my profile picture. And you wouldn’t know who the person behind the screen is. In some ways, I agree that like separating that does help. But also, if someone really wants to get on either side of Instagram for kids or Instagram, they’ll find a way.

Adam Jones 7:17
It’s pretty easy to lie by your date on those.

Alyssa Mullins 7:19
Yeah. I know some people that have told Facebook and Instagram, oh, yeah, I’m 22. And really, they were like, 16, 17. And having those age restrictions on there is smart for all those platforms, but it’s not going to stop the person from getting on there if they really want to.

Adam Jones 7:36
Absolutely, and I’m gonna definitely date myself, like when Facebook first came out, you really had to have a .edu account to receive access into the platform. But even then, that’s not perfect of trying to make sure that you only have 18 year olds on the platform. At the time, I was doing full time Running Start, so I was 16, 17 with a .edu account, and able to gain full access to the system. There’s always gonna be loopholes and ways around these things.

Alyssa Mullins 8:06
There are also other platforms that don’t have a for kids version of it, like Snapchat doesn’t. And TikTok doesn’t. Facebook doesn’t. And so it’s really right now just kind of YouTube. And then soon to be Instagram.

Adam Jones 8:26
They’re really only dong this just because of abuses that have occurred, or coming under fire for these different things. The other thing, like I know a lot of people can be excited about a “for kids only” version… Kids are mean. Have you ever actually like watched like, your middle schooler or younger, like, interact?

Alyssa Mullins 8:46
I have, and they are. They’re mean. And they learn things, they, they learn about behaviors and everything like that, from what they see on TV and on these platforms that are just around them constantly. But they are. They’re pretty mean; they’re mean to themselves, and they’re mean to each other. Which is never good.

Adam Jones 9:11
So at the end of the day, we would say- if you’re a parent, be aware. I know like, growing up, my folks weren’t the most tech savvy people. But, you know, if you raise the kids, right, you’ll hopefully be able to work through quite a bit of this. It sounds like your dad was pretty awesome, actually.

Alyssa Mullins 9:29
Yeah, he was really good about just being like, “Okay, what platform are you on? What are you doing? What is Gaia Online?” And I tried to explain it in the best way I could, because I barely understood it. I was like, “I don’t know. You’re a little character and you run around!” And that was my perception of it. And I could talk to my friends. And so for me, it was a mostly wholesome platform that you could play around on.

Adam Jones 9:53
And I think that’s what most creators intend for. I don’t think anyone’s out there intending to create openings for abuse, it’s just, “Hey, we want to do some fun,” and even if it’s geared for kids or geared for other people, “We’re just here to have fun and make and build and create and drive.”

Alyssa Mullins 10:11
I sometimes enjoy the “For Kids” version, because there’s usually some pretty wholesome stuff on there, like YouTube for kids- there’s a lot of different videos… Cocomelon, I’ve seen some Daniel Tiger. Daniel Tiger is really good! I mean, there’s a little song that plays in my head every now and then that I remember. And so it’s good to have those resources, because then you know that that’s being created for that audience. And that’s being made for that particular audience. So, if we advertise on those platforms, we know who we’re advertising to. And even in the broader ones on the bigger platforms, it’s kind of the same thing. We know who our target audience is, and who we’re trying to attract for whatever we’re trying to market at that moment.

Adam Jones 10:59
Well, thank you so much for joining us today.

Alyssa Mullins 11:00
Thanks for listening to us talk!

Adam Jones 11:02
If you like this video, and other videos, you should watch our other videos! Also hit the bell, click follow, check out our other social platforms.

Alyssa Mullins 11:11
Yeah, we’re on Instagram. We’re on TikTok. We’re on Facebook

Adam Jones 11:16
And LinkedIn.

Alyssa Mullins 11:16
And LinkedIn!

Adam Jones 11:18
And we made a link tree.

Alyssa Mullins 11:19
We do!

Adam Jones 11:20
We need to decorate it like Christmas

Alyssa Mullins 11:21
Yesss, Christmas!

Adam Jones 11:24
Have a good day!


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