Safeguarding Teenagers on Instagram with New Parental Supervision Tools


Amid widespread concern, the tech powerhouse, Meta, has unveiled a series of oversight tools known as Instagram parental controls, much to the relief of concerned parents. These tools are designed to ensure the online safety of adolescents.

With these tools, parents now have a measure of influence over their children’s digital footprints on Instagram. Meta declared on June 14th that it would introduce features aimed at fortifying the defenses of youthful Instagram users. This initiative empowers parents to closely monitor their teenager’s activities on the platform.

Initially rolled out in March in the United States, these controls have now expanded to Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, and the United Kingdom this month. Meta has committed to making these controls universally accessible by the year’s end.

Meta faced eight lawsuits over allegations of fostering addictive social media practices particularly harmful to young users. In response, Meta swiftly introduced the Instagram parental controls. Despite some critics arguing that Meta’s solutions only scratch the surface, others recognize the strides made by the tech giant.

Offering her perspectives, Indian motivational speaker Priya Kumar observed, “Constructing mechanisms that aid users, especially young ones, in managing their app interaction is beneficial. However, these tools alone are not a silver bullet solution to these intricate dilemmas.”

Critics agree that these new features can potentially mitigate negative experiences for teens on Instagram. Meta has shown a commitment to improving user experience through initiatives such as the “Take a Break” feature introduced last year, which prompts users to step away from continuous scrolling.

Digital wellness and parental management tools lay the groundwork for combatting the challenges of social media usage. The newly released updates for the US audience showcase Meta’s ongoing efforts to promote a healthier digital environment.

Key Features of Instagram’s Parental Controls

Newly introduced, these tools now permit parents to request oversight of their children’s Instagram use—a capability once exclusive to the teens themselves.

With these tools, parents can establish daily time limits for Instagram use, ensuring their children cannot access the app once the allotted time expires.

Meta has also disseminated guides to aid parents in these discussions, offering practical conversational openers and clarifications about the tools’ functionalities and safety elements.

An addition to the Instagram controls is the “Nudges” feature. Meta states, “This innovation stems from research suggesting that timely prompts can enhance the social media experience, fostering mindfulness among users, particularly adolescents. According to one external study, more than half of participants felt nudges positively impacted their use of social platforms.” The feature will encourage users to be conscious of how they interact with content.

Moreover, updates to Meta’s Quest store now allow teens to solicit permission from their parents before purchasing apps with age restrictions. Parents can approve or deny such requests and can block or monitor their children’s app purchases.

Meta is also investing in the mentorship of young content creators, aiming to produce age-appropriate and responsible content for younger audiences.

Final Thoughts

The strides made by Meta in the realm of Instagram parental controls are commendable. They offer a layer of security and peace of mind for parents concerned about their children’s wellbeing in the digital social sphere.

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