Facebook is looking to create a version of Instagram for kids under the age of 13, according to a Thursday report by BuzzFeed News. The current app is far from safe for children, and the company wants to get the budding generation on its platform, but in a completely different bubble that’s protected.
A spokesperson for Facebook said that the company was exploring a parent-controlled version of Instagram, similar to the Messenger Kids app for kids between six and 12. The new app was announced internally but is not yet launched.
Instagram chief Adam Mosseri mentioned that while the company prohibits children below 13 from signing up, it is a tricky task to identify their age. Filling in false information is common, and children want to be on the platform because their friends have an account.
“Increasingly, kids are asking their parents if they can join apps that help them keep up with their friends. Right now, there aren’t many options for parents, so we’re working on building additional products … that are suitable for kids, managed by parents,” the spokesperson said.
Instead of just blocking them outright, Instagram wants to create a version of the app for kids instead, mirroring variants like YouTube Kids or Facebook’s own Messenger for Kids.
Besides, according to Instagram, it’s developing new artificial intelligence and machine learning technology to detect individual users’ ages.
Instagram is often called out for its toxicity, leading to harassment, bullying, abuse, and setting unrealistic expectations. Along with parent Facebook, Instagram has been criticized by users, advocacy groups, and lawmakers for harboring harmful content and fostering anxiety and depression.
Next Android update is Android 12.1, not Android 13, rumor says
Just a minor update
One of the highlights of the year is a new Android update. Like clockwork, Google updates the biggest mobile operating system in the world. It’s gotten so popular that the entire industry speculates on the codename each update is attached with even if the company stopped doing them years ago. The hype is there. However, Android users might have to taper their expectations next year. Instead of Android 13, Google might launch Android 12.1 next year.
Reported by XDA Developers, the rumor speculates that next year’s Android update will just be a minor one of the upcoming Android 12 this year. According to one of the publication’s recognized developers, Google attached an “sc-v2” tag for the next Android update, instead of “T” for “Tiramisu,” the internal codename for Android 13. For those who still follow the internal codenames for Android, “sc” refers to Snow Cone, the internal codename for Android 12. As such, it’s natural to assume that the next update is just Android 12.1, rather than Android 13.
It’s been a while since Google released minor updates in lieu of major updates. However, it’s no surprise. Android 12 is already a big update, relative to the past few updates. The update features a revamped design called Material You. Google can believably improve the new update more before launching a major one.
SEE ALSO: Android 12 is Snow Cone
Google starts rolling out Material You apps
More coming this month
There is no one more excited for Google’s upcoming products than Google itself. Though the company hasn’t officially launched its products yet, Google has persistently teased everything in the weeks and months leading to their debuts. Now, the company is slowly rolling out Material You apps ahead of the Android 12 launch.
Material You refers to Android’s design revamp for the upcoming Android 12 update. An evolution of Google’s smooth Material Design, the new design personalizes the user interface and the phone’s apps according to the user’s preferences. Android 12 is all about customization.
Of course, since the update also affects apps, Google is also rolling out apps that reflect the new design. Despite the lack of Android 12, the new apps are coming out ahead of time. Officially announced by Google’s Workspace blog, Google Drive will start the new push with its rollout starting today. After Drive, Google Meet will come out on September 19, and Google Calendar will launch on September 20. Google Docs, Slides, and Sheets have already rolled out a week ago.
The new apps will feature new navigation bars, floating action buttons, and a new font called Google Sans. The new font will make readability easier for smaller font sizes.
Android 12 is set to launch soon. Additionally, Google is already launching teasers for the upcoming Pixel 6 series featuring the new, in-house Tensor chipset.
Spotify launches new recommendation feature, Enhance
Personalize per playlist
Adding new songs to your Spotify playlist can be quite a monumental task. Trying to grab songs from a recommended playlist might not always mix and match well with a personal playlist’s mood. Spotify is improving recommendations with an all-new feature rolling out today: Spotify Enhance.
Launching in several countries all over the world, Enhance will automatically add songs which fits a playlist’s mood. Users who have the feature can toggle the feature on every playlist. The recommended song will then pop up in the playlist’s songs. Likewise, users can toggle the feature off to get rid of the recommended songs.
However, rather than dumping the recommendations at the start or at the end of a playlist, Spotify will sprinkle them after every two songs, providing a healthy balance between old and new songs. The feature will add only 30 songs at a time.
Additionally, these songs aren’t officially added to the playlist yet. If a user finds a song they like, they can link a plus icon beside the song. Added songs will be in the playlist permanently.
The feature will come only to Premium subscribers. Likewise, not every country will have the feature at first. Spotify hopes to roll out the feature for more countries in the coming weeks and months.
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