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Facebook Won’t Apologize for Instagram Youth

It’s making a kid-focused version of its photo-sharing app, regardless of what critics say.

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Illustration: Patrik Mollwing for Bloomberg Businessweek
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When Lauren Mull Anglin heard last spring that Facebook Inc. had a version of its Messenger app for children, her mind immediately went to the social network’s patchy record on data security and privacy issues. On the other hand, Anglin’s 7-year-old daughter was often using her mom’s account for video calls, and the app put Anglin in charge of her kids’ interactions.

So Anglin, a 31-year-old health care administrator from Georgia, kept her kids off the app for a few weeks while she and a friend used it themselves. Eventually the adults were satisfied it was safe, and now Anglin’s daughter doesn’t have to bother her every time she wants to chat with her cousin. “I don’t want to sound naive,” says Anglin, before cataloging the myriad ways the app allows her to police her kids’ activity, features she says work better than similar ones on other apps for kids. “I mean, it’s great,” she concludes.