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Instagram will give parents more control over kids’ accounts with new safety features

The social media giant is introducing new supervisory controls between parents and teens on both Instagram and Oculus VR.

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Instagram is introducing new parental controls

Instagram is introducing new parental controls

Instagram is introducing new parental controls

Instagram is launching new teen safety controls that may inform parents when their teenage child is subjected to bullying or harassment. The new measures allow a parent to receive information when a teen reports another account to Instagram.

The new controls also now allow parents to initiate a supervisory relationship with their teen’s use of Instagram, facilitating features such as screen time limits, a look at who the teen’s followers are and other usage habits.

The new controls will only apply to children over the age of 13, as the company’s ‘Instagram Kids’ service remains “paused”, company executives say. The parental controls will also not apply to activities such as direct messaging within the app, which are considered a private activity for teens.

According to the most recent CyberSafeKids research, over 80pc of Irish children between the ages of 8 and 12 have an online social media or social messaging account.

Meanwhile, Instagram parent Meta is launching additional parental supervision controls for its virtual reality Quest system where parents can review a teen’s friend list, view the amount of time being spent in the VR app and approve or deny their teen’s download or purchase of an app that is blocked on age grounds. Under the new system, teens over the age of 13 can submit an “ask to buy” request which notifies a parent. Parents can also block specific apps, including web browsers, that are deemed inappropriate. However, for a parent or guardian to link to the teen’s account, the teen must initiate the process.

Instagram is also rolling out a system of ‘nudges’ for teens, encouraging them to switch to a different topic if they’re repeatedly looking at the same type of content. The social networking giant says that teens will not be ‘nudged’ into discovering topics that are “associated with appearance comparison”.

“We designed this new feature because research suggests that nudges can be effective for helping people — especially teens — be more mindful of how they’re using social media in the moment,” the company said in a blog post today.

“In a study on the effects of nudges on social media use, 58.2pc of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that nudges made their social media experience better by helping them become more mindful of their time on-platform.”

Instagram is also launching new reminders for teens to turn on the ‘Take a Break’ feature when they’ve been scrolling in Reels for a period of time.

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