Washington: Amid bombshell reports about Instagram's toxic impacts on the mental health of teens, the photo-sharing app's CEO Adam Mosseri on Thursday defended that the platform wasn't quite frankly designed for people between the ages of 13 and 17.
Mosseri, testifying for the first time at a US Senate hearing in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday said he doesnt believe researches which suggests that their products are addictive.
"We know that 10- to 12-year-olds are online. We know that they want to be on platforms like Instagram. And Instagram quite frankly wasn't designed for them," he said during the hearing.
Mosseri also proposed a new "industry body to determine best practices to help keep young people safe online. He added that the industry body should address "how to verify age, how to design age-appropriate experiences, and how to build parental controls."
In a slew of announcements on young users' safety, Instagram said it would be stricter about the types of content it recommends to teens, and would switch off the ability for people to tag or mention teens who do not follow them on the app. It will also introduce parental controls next year. However, Senator Marsha Blackburn called the updates "hollow."
Instagram and its parent company Meta Platforms Inc, formerly Facebook, have come under intense scrutiny over the potential impact of their services on the mental health, body image and online safety of young users.
Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen had testified before the US Congress that Instagram can have a negative effect on the mental health of teenagers.
Hammered by the chain of events, Instagram had this week launched a 'Take a Break' and other safety features for teenagers.
Prior to Mosseri's testimony, Facebook's Global Head of Safety Antigone Davis also appeared before the Senate subcommittee to address teen safety concerns.
"We have put in place multiple protections to create safe and age-appropriate experiences for people between the ages of 13 and 17," Davis argued.
In late September, Mosseri had announced that Instagram would pause its plans to develop Instagram Kids, a version of the app specifically for children under 13.