Meta announces Instagram improvements to boost teen safety

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Meta has announced several changes to Instagram that will affect teenage users of the platform. The changes are designed to keep young users even safer on the platform. Some of the new features include limiting who can tag or mention teens, nudges to other topics for those dwelling on a single issue, and Take A Break, which was announced in September, is coming to the U.S., UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand today but all users will be able to use it early next year.

In addition to the features mentioned above, parents and guardians will get new tools next March to help guide and support their children on Instagram. They will be able to see how long their kids are on Instagram and set time limits. If teens allow for it, there’s an option to inform parents and guardians when they block someone on Instagram, giving them the chance to discuss the issue later on. Meta said that this list of tools will grow in the future.

The new tools parents have on Instagram to monitor their child&039s time on the platform

To assist parents and guardians further, a new educational hub that contains additional resources, such as product tutorials and tips from experts, will be made available.

The main change that children will see is Take A Break which is coming to users in a handful of countries at first. With this feature, kids can set a reminder to take a break every 30 minutes, 20 minutes, or 10 minutes. A pop-up screen will appear advising the user to take a break when their allotted time expires. While these pop-up screens can be ignored, Meta found in early tests that 90% of users abide by them once they’re enabled.

The Take A Break feature on Instagram

A few other changes teens should be on the lookout for include:

  • Preventing people from tagging or mentioning teens that don’t follow them.
  • Recommendations to teens in Search, Explore, Hashtags, and Suggested Accounts will be stricter.
  • Instagram will start nudging teens towards different topics if they’ve been dwelling on one topic for quite a while.

Finally, Instagram will deploy a new tool in January that’ll be available to all users but will be especially important for teens. Users will have the options to bulk delete content they’ve posted before including photos and vices as well as previous likes and comments. Teens can use this feature as they get older if they think any of their content is particularly embarrassing and want it gone.

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