A new report from The Wall Street Journal suggests that Facebook and Instagram internal researchers know that Instagram is a toxic app for teen girls.
The researchers found that teens are having a negative experience on the app. The company had a number of slides that revealed what they had learned about teens and their behavior on the app, according to The Wall Street Journal.
- “Thirty-two percent of teen girls said that when they felt bad about their bodies, Instagram made them feel worse,” the company’s researchers said in a slide presentation, which was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. “Comparisons on Instagram can change how young women view and describe themselves.”
- “Teens blame Instagram for increases in the rate of anxiety and depression,” said another slide, according to WSJ. “This reaction was unprompted and consistent across all groups.”
- Per WSJ, another slide said, “We make body image issues worse for 1 in 3 teen girls.”
Instagram’s head of public policy Karina Newton said in a blog post that the company is researching how to make the experience better for teens.
- “We’re exploring ways to prompt them to look at different topics if they’re repeatedly looking at this type of content,” Newton said. “We’re cautiously optimistic that these nudges will help point people towards content that inspires and uplifts them, and to a larger extent, will shift the part of Instagram’s culture that focuses on how people look.”
A Facebook spokesperson told Forbes that the company published a blog post that said the WSJ report “focuses on a limited set of findings and casts them in a negative light.” The company said it stands by the research since it “demonstrates our commitment to understanding complex and difficult issues young people may struggle with.”
You can read the full report at The Wall Street Journal.