Meta Head Departure of Youth Product Initiative

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Meta Head Departure of Youth Product Initiative

According to a company memo obtained by The New York Times, the vice president who leads youth product initiatives at Facebook’s parent company Meta is leaving after an internal restructuring.

According to a note from Instagram chief executive Adam Mosseri, Pavani Dewanji, who joined in late 2020 and previously oversaw YouTube Kids at Google, “decided to move on” after the restructuring. Under Mr. Mosseri, Ms. Dewanji was tapped to lead the company’s “youth workstream”. She was in charge of developing products such as age verification and parental supervision tools, as well as experiences for Meta’s apps that can be used by children under the age of 13.

Chief among those efforts was a youth version of Instagram, which the company shelved in September when the Wall Street Journal reported on internal research that suggested some young people were exposed to negative mental health issues from the popular photo-sharing app. health effects suffered. Instagram leaders argued that a youth version was necessary because children were already using the main app, while critics saw it as a means by which the company could attract users at a younger age.

“Pavani has been a tremendous champion for her teams and the drive for this cross-company effort,” Mosseri wrote in his note.

Ms. Dewanji did not respond to a request for comment.

Meta spokeswoman Stephanie Otway said in a statement that the company is still “developing safe, age-appropriate experiences for teens.”

Meta has faced criticism from lawmakers for its products aimed at children. Mr. Mosseri said That the children’s version of Instagram works “the way we knew it would be” and that the company had “few answers” to the public at the time.

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In December, he testified before a Senate subcommittee on consumer protection. Lawmakers rebuked him and the company for not doing enough to protect young people.

Mr Mosseri said in his note on Wednesday that he would continue to serve as the leader behind the youth effort, which is “a high priority throughout the meta.”

“I know the teams have worked hard to ensure that youth is an important consideration in product development at the company – including VR and Messenger – and I will continue to be an advocate for collaboration and coordination here,” he wrote. .

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