Instagram announces new tools to help protect teens on its platform
Instagram can be an addictive platform, and users can spend a long time endlessly scrolling through feeds and topics without even noticing. Last month, the company announced that it would be testing a “Take a Break” feature with a small percentage of users. Adam Mosseri — head of Instagram — has now revealed some new features the company is working on. They’re mostly aimed at protecting teens on the platform, but some of them can be used by older people as well.
In a blog post, Adam shared that the company takes teens’ safety seriously and that Instagram will be adding features to protect them starting today. While some of the new tools won’t be available until next year, the Meta-owned platform has revealed how they’ll work.
Tools for teens’ parents and guardians
In March 2022, parents and guardians will be able to view how much time their teens spend on the platform. The tool will also allow them to set daily time limits, if they believe their teens are spending too much time on the app. Additionally, teens will get an option to notify their parents if they report something on Instagram. The company mentions that this is an early version of the feature. It also promises to bring even more additions down the road.
To further engage and inform parents, the popular social media service is launching a new educational hub. The hub will include tutorials on how to use the app, tips from experts, and more content to help them better understand how everything works. This is aimed at helping them discuss topics regarding social media with their youngsters.
Tools for teens to better manage their Instagram experience
In addition to parent-related features, Instagram has revealed new additions for teens to take advantage of. The company is expanding its “Take a Break” feature to the US, UK, Ireland, Canada, New Zealand and Australia starting today. This will suggest taking a break from the app if a user scrolls for a certain amount of time. It’ll also recommend setting break reminders for future browsing sessions. This tool will roll out to all users globally early next year.
In addition to break suggestions, Instagram is building an activity log — similar to that on Facebook. This will allow users view a list of their past comments, likes, posts, and more. The tool also enables users to bulk-delete their content to easily manage their digital footprints. The feature will be available to everyone next month. However, it’s particularly helpful to teens because it allows them to manage their past online activities as they grow older and change their views.
Features to make Instagram a safer place for teens
Earlier this year, Instagram started defaulting new accounts created by teens to private. That’s in addition to blocking adults from direct messaging teens who don’t follow them. The company is now taking teens’ safety a step further by developing new features to limit how potential predators can reach them. Starting early next year, new accounts created by teens will default to not allowing people they don’t follow to mention or tag them. They also won’t be able to include their content in Reels Remixes and Guides.
Instagram launched “Sensitive Content Control” last July. It allows users to choose how sensitive the content in their Explore page is allowed to be. The “Limit Even More” setting will eventually protect teens from potentially harmful content by expanding to the Search, Hashtags, Reels and Suggested Accounts sections. This feature is still in its early stages, and the company has no ETA to share. Finally, the company is building a tool to nudge people towards different topics when they dwell on one for a while.
Do you see yourself using any of these new tools when they roll out to you? Let us know in the comments section below.