Meta launches parental controls on Instagram

Meta has launched a new parental control tool on Instagram. This is the first step in building a Family Center where parents can manage their children’s social media usage across all of Meta’s apps. While the Instagram tool is currently only available in the United States, it is gradually being rolled out worldwide. That’s what Meta said in his blog.

The company behind FacebookInstagram, and WhatsApp is introducing these parental controls in response to criticism from the public. Facebook would consider profit more important than the well-being of its users. That was evident from the testimony of Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen in October. Instagram is said to be mainly harmful to the mental health of teenagers.

Options for parents

The new tool gives parents the opportunity to see how much time their child spends on Instagram. They can also see who is following their child and whether they report an account to the moderation team. In the future, it should be possible for parents to set limits on Instagram usage.

Parents won’t even need an Instagram or Facebook account for this. However, the children currently still have to invite their parents to enable parental control. The parent should be able to initiate this themselves in June. However, the child must still give permission for this. In addition, they can see what their parents can see.

Family Center

Earlier, Instagram already introduced some safety measures for children on the platform. For example, Meta’s head of youth welfare, Vaishnavi J, points out new defaults in an interview with Bloomberg. Teens who create an account on Instagram automatically have stricter privacy settings. In addition, adults who do not follow them cannot send them messages (DMs, direct messages).

It doesn’t stop with this setting and the parental controls. Meta wants to create a Family Center with more tools to keep kids and teens safe on its platforms. An education hub is part of this platform for parents. Here, parents can learn how to talk to their children about social media use. This should also grow into a platform where parents can keep track of their children’s social media use on all Meta’s websites and apps.

In April, Meta will also begin allowing parents to monitor app usage and downloads via the virtual reality device Oculus. In addition, parents can then see how long their child has been playing in VR and who they are friends with. They will also be able to block access to apps from their children. From May, all apps will be blocked for users who are not old enough according to the International Age Rating Coalition.

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