March 20, 2022
Instagram releases tools for parents to track teens’ activity
Instagram launched a “Family Center” Wednesday morning with parental monitoring tools to track their children’s time and activity on the platform.
In the new Family Center, parents can see how much time their teens spend on Instagram and set time limits.
They can also track their teen’s usage on the platform, including being able to view and receive updates on which accounts their teens are following and the accounts their teens are following.
On Instagram, parents can also set up notifications for when their teens share that they’ve reported someone.
The rollout of the Instagram Family Center follows months of increased research into the platform’s impact on children’s safety and mental health, sparked by the release of internal investigation by Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen.
The new tools released Wednesday are just “one step on a longer path,” Instagram head Adam Mosseri said in a blog post.
“Our vision for Family Center is to ultimately empower parents and guardians to help their teens manage experiences in Meta technologies, all from one central place,” Mosseri said.
The tools will be launched in the US for the first time, with plans to roll out globally “in the coming months,” the blog post said.
Meta also announced parental control tools for its virtual reality (VR) services on Quest that will be launched in the coming months.
Meta allows parents to prevent teens from accessing features they feel are inappropriate for their age by using an “Unlock Pattern” on the Quest headset to automatically lock access to those apps. Meta already allows users to create an unlock pattern as a way to provide additional security on the headset devices.
In May, the company will go a step further by automatically blocking teens from downloading “IARC-rated age-inappropriate apps,” according to the blog post.
Meta will also launch a Parent Dashboard for its VR services that will host supervision tools that will link to the teens’ account based on permission from both sides.
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