Instagram is afraid of losing teenagers

reported The New York Times, citing internal documents and anonymous sources, said the Facebook-owned Instagram platform was concerned about losing teen users and had allocated a large portion of its marketing budget to promoting the service to teens.

The news comes after the whistleblower leaked documents to the Wall Street Journal that showed Facebook was aware of the potential for Instagram to harm teens’ mental health.

If we lose a teen’s foothold in the United States, we lose an essential resource,” said an internal Instagram memo released last October that offers a marketing strategy for the year, according to a New York Times report.

As of 2018, nearly all of the platform’s annual global marketing budget is set for messaging to teens, the newspaper said, noting that this year’s budget is $390 million.

Marketers told the newspaper that focusing on a particular age group to such an extent is unusual. The New York Times also said the final spending included letters to parents and young adults. The platform faces competition for teenage users from rivals such as Tik Tok and Snapchat.

The company is facing problems with younger users after Frances Hoggin leaked documents to the newspaper, which reported last month that Facebook researchers found Instagram to be harmful to young users, especially teenage girls. The newspaper said in its report that issues of depression, anxiety and body image were of concern.

Read also: Instagram adds live broadcast scheduling

marketing efforts Within Instagram Focus on teenagers

Hogan also testified before Congress this month, claiming that the company’s products harm children, fuel division and weaken democracy.

The company said the purpose and results of its research are being mischaracterized. The research showed that teens saw benefits from using the site. Many teens tell researchers that the platform can help them when they struggle with the kinds of tough moments and issues teens always face.

A spokesperson for the company played down the newspaper’s new report, saying: “While it’s not true that we focus our entire marketing budget on teens, we’ve said many times that teens are one of our most important communities because they spot and identify early trends.” It was no surprise that they were part of our marketing strategy.

Last month, the platform paused development of its Instagram Kids version. It is a customized service that you create for children under the age of 13, who are not currently allowed on the Platform.

The company said the service would not be designed like the adult version of the app. But it is ad-free and supervised by parents directly.

Regardless of these assertions, news of the Instagram Kids project has critics worried about the mental health and privacy of younger users.

The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act 1998 restricts the collection or storage of personal data for anyone under the age of 13.

Read also: Facebook announces new holiday shopping events

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