Technology

Instagram releases tools for parents to track teens’ activity

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(Getty Images)

Instagram on Wednesday morning launched a “Family Center” with supervisory tools for parents to track their children’s time and activity on the platform. 

In the new Family Center, parents will be able to view how much time their teens spend on Instagram and set time limits.

They will also be able to monitor their teen’s use on the platform, including being able to view and receive updates on what accounts their teens follow and the accounts that follow their teens. 

Instagram will also let parents set notifications for when their teens share they’ve reported someone. 

The rollout of the Instagram Family Center follows months of increased scrutiny over the impact of the platform on kids’ safety and mental health, sparked by the release of internal research by Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen. 

The new tools released Wednesday are just “one step on a longer path,” head of Instagram Adam Mosseri said in a blog post. 

“Our vision for Family Center is to eventually allow parents and guardians to help their teens manage experiences across Meta technologies, all from one central place,” Mosseri said. 

The tools are first being launched in the U.S., with plans to roll out globally “in the coming months,” according to the blog post. 

Meta also announced parental supervision tools for its virtual reality (VR) services on Quest that will be introduced in the next couple of months. 

Meta will allow parents to prevent teens from accessing features they feel aren’t age-appropriate 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 extra 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 consent from both sides.

Tags Facebook Instagram META Meta Platforms Mobile software Parental controls Social media Virtual reality
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