In a blog post, Instagram service’s head Adam Mosseri has announced the company will roll out new parental control features by March on its platform.
This will allow parents to keep track of how much time their teenager is spending on Instagram. They can even set time limits and will get notified if their child reports someone.
Instagram announced these controls as a package of new features that are designed to make the platform a safer place.
Although Mosseri says that the platform has been working on these safety features for “a long time,” however it is suspected that their announcement comes in the wake of damaging revelations about Meta-owned social networks.
Most notably, Frances Haugen, a whistleblower, leaked some internal documents which revealed that Instagram was aware that its platform makes body image issues worse for its female teenage audience.
Mosseri is even due to testify in front of a Senate committee this week where he will be questioned about the impact of Instagram on its young audience.
Instagram says that it’s also developing an educational hub for parents alongside the new parental controls. This will offer them tips and tutorials about children’s social media use.
Instagram is rolling out the “Take a Break” feature, in the more immediate future, which the company started testing last month. This opt-in feature will prompt users to put the app down once they’ve been scrolling for a set amount of time. The company will launch this feature in the US, UK, New Zealand, Ireland, Canada, and Australia today.
Other new safety features for teenagers include changes to Instagram tagging permissions, due to roll out by early next year.
Mosseri’s post details all the safety features in their earlier development stages. The service will explore plans to “nudge” people away from topics they’ve been dwelling on.
In October, after the announcement of this feature alongside Take a Break, Nick Clegg, Meta’s vice president of global affairs, said that it would kick in for “content which may not be conducive to [a user’s] wellbeing.”
We still don’t have any indication as to when the feature might be launched. The platform is also exploring stricter control settings for recommended content in Explore. This aims to limit their exposure to “potentially harmful or sensitive content or accounts.”
“Meta is attempting to shift attention from their mistakes by rolling out parental guides, use timers and content control features that consumer should have had all along,” Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), told The New York Times. “But my colleagues and I see right through what they are doing.”