Meta Platforms Inc announced new parental control tools on Instagram Wednesday, in response to criticism from regulators and the public over the app’s harm to teens. It is part of a commitment to protect teens that Instagram head Adam Mosseri made in December.
The new parental supervision tools are under a new Family Center, a centralized education hub for parents and guardians to oversee their teens’ accounts. The Family Center includes a new education hub where parents and guardians can access resources from experts and review helpful articles, videos and tips on topics like how to talk to teens about social media. Parents can also watch video tutorials on how to use the new supervision tools.
The company stated that it plans to expand the Family Center to a platform where parents can manage their teen’s social media activity across all Meta apps.
New Supervision Tools 👪— Adam Mosseri (@mosseri) March 16, 2022
Today, we’re introducing new supervision tools on Instagram and the launch of our Family Center – a new, central place for parents/guardians to be more involved in their teens’ online experience.https://t.co/SQJG1rBzhD pic.twitter.com/vzKXOf3bI3
The first parental control tools on Instagram will allow parents and guardians to see how much time teens spend on Instagram and set time limits, be notified when their teens’ share they’ve reported someone, view and receive updates about what accounts teens follow and which accounts their teens follow.
Instagram said the new supervision tools are available in the United States now, with plans to roll out globally in the coming months.
For now, teens will need to initiate supervision in the app on mobile devices, but Instagram has announced that starting in June, it will add the option for parents to initiate supervision in the app and desktop. Teens will need to approve parental supervision if their parents or guardians request it.
The company also announced that new features will be added over the few months, including letting parents set the hours during which their teen can use Instagram and the ability for more than one parent to supervise a teen’s account.
Meta will also roll out VR parental supervision tools to Quest in the coming months. As a first step, starting in April, the company will expand the unlock pattern on Quest headsets that allows parents to prevent teens 13+ from accessing experiences they feel aren’t age-appropriate by using an Unlock Pattern to lock access to those apps. And in May, it will start automatically blocking teens 13+ from downloading IARC rated age-inappropriate apps. The company will also launch a Parent Dashboard, hosting a suite of supervision tools that will link to the teen’s account based on consent from both sides.