Instagram fears losing teens
Instagram fears losing teens

The New York Times cited internal documents and anonymous sources that Facebook's Instagram platform feared losing young users and spent most of its marketing budget on promoting the service to young people.

The news came after whistleblowers leaked documents to the Wall Street Journal showing that Facebook knows Instagram can harm teens' mental health.

If we gain a foothold in the United States for a teenager, we will miss out on an important resource,” according to an internal Instagram memo published last October, which, according to the New York Times, includes that year’s marketing strategies.

In 2018, nearly all of the platform's annual global marketing budget was used to send messages to teens, the newspaper said, noting that this year's budget was $390 million.

Marketers told the newspaper that it was unusual to focus so much on certain age groups. The New York Times also said the final issues will include letters to parents and young adults. The platform faces competition from younger users from competitors like Tik Tok and Snapchat.

After Frances Hoggin transferred the documents to the newspaper, the company had difficulty dealing with young users. And the newspaper reported last month, that Facebook researchers found that Instagram is harmful to young users, especially girls. The newspaper said in its report that the issues of depression, anxiety and body image cause concern.

Instagram marketing efforts focus on youth

Huo Genyue also testified before Congress, claiming that the company's products harm children, promote division and weaken democracy.

The company said the purpose and results of its research have been misinterpreted. Research shows that teens understand the benefits of using the site. Several teens told researchers that the platform can help them as they grapple with tough times and problems that teens still face.

A company spokesman played down the new report in the newspaper. "It's a mistake to focus all our marketing money on teenagers," he said. But we have said time and time again that young people are one of our most important communities because they have discovered and recognized early trends. Unsurprisingly, it is part of our marketing strategy.

Last month, the platform halted development of its version of Instagram Kids. This is a personal service that I created for children under the age of 13 who are not currently allowed to use it on the Platform.

The company said that the service will not be designed as an adult version of the app. But it contains no ads and is taken care of directly by the parents.

Despite these claims, news from the Instagram Kids Project has raised critics' concerns about the mental health and privacy of young users.

The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 prohibits anyone under the age of 13 from collecting or storing personal information.

In its new report, the newspaper said that Facebook realized that ads targeting 13-year-olds could also target young children who want to be their siblings and friends.

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