Instagram is Making the Platform Safer for Teens
Instagram will no longer enable users to tag or reference teens who do not wish to follow them, or to incorporate their materials/contents in Reels Remixes or Guides.
Instagram launched new features this December in an effort to make the network safer for youngsters/teens, as the company faced criticism amid leaked internal study claiming that the service was harmful to certain young users.
The improvement testing is an ongoing process…
“We’re testing these improvements to further reduce the potential that youngsters may hear from someone they don’t know or don’t want to hear from,” Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri said.
“We expect to make them accessible to everyone early next year.”
Mosseri is scheduled to testify before the US Congress today (on December 8), where he will be asked about the platform’s influence on young people.
Instagram began transferring (defaulting) users under the age of 16 to a private account where they joined up for the network in July 2021.
It has also introduced a new function that allows users to choose how much potentially sensitive information gets displayed in its content discovery, destination, or Explore.
By default, the app restricts certain photographs and videos that may be distressing or unpleasant, and users may choose to view less of these types of material on Explore. Those above the age of 18 may also opt-in to access less, or more sensitive stuff on Explore.
Mosseri said that the company is now considering extending its sensitive content management function beyond Explore, making it more difficult for adolescents to come across potentially dangerous or sensitive material or accounts in Search, Explore, Hashtags, Reels, and Suggested Accounts. “We’re still in the early phases of this concept and will have more to discuss in the future,” he added.
Users will also be able to bulk erase previously submitted material like as photographs and videos, as well as prior likes and comments dating back to January 2022.
“I believe this tool is especially crucial for kids to completely understand what information they’ve posted on Instagram, what information is available to others, and to have an easier method to control their digital footprint,” Mosseri said.
New parental control tools
Instagram showcased its first set of parental controls, allowing parents to monitor how much time their teens spend on Instagram and set time limitations.
The tools, which are set to be released in March 2022, will allow kids to alert their parents if they report someone.
“This is the initial edition of these tools; we’ll be adding additional possibilities over time,” Mosseri said.
These measures come after the (Facebook) Meta-owned video and picture sharing network halted development of a kids’ version of the app in September this year under to intense criticism from politicians, critics, and child development specialists.
Furthermore, the company is working on a new educational site for parents and guardians that will include product tutorials and professional advice to assist them address social media usage with their children.
Instagram is also developing a new area that would move users away from one subject if they have been focusing on it for a long time. We’ll have more to say about this, as well as adjustments we’re making to the material and accounts we promote to adolescents, shortly.
In addition, Instagram is releasing the ‘Take A Break’ function in the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, with intentions to expand to everyone by early next year.
The tool, as the name implies, notifies users to take a break from the platform if they have spent a specific amount of time on it and recommends that they set reminders to take more breaks in the future.
Instagram has been testing this feature for a few weeks, and it expands on current time management features like “Daily Limit,” which allows users to set reminders to inform them when they have spent a specific amount of time on Instagram.