Instagram: New Parental Supervision Tools

Instagram: New Parental Supervision Tools

This month, Instagram will be making new parental supervision tools available for users in the UK. These are becoming available for the Instagram platform as well as the Meta Quest VR headsets. These features will allow parents to have more supervision over their child’s online activity, as well as provide options to set screen time limits and have more awareness when something is reported online by their teen. In our latest article, we explore Instagram’s new parental supervision tools, and what they mean for you.

Instagram Parental Supervision and Nudges

Announced several months ago, the new parental tools for Instagram are looking to include the supervision option, which needs to be approved, by both the parent and the teen before features are made available. This option can also be switched off at any time. Once activated, parents will have the ability to:

  • See how much time their teen spends on Instagram
  • Be aware of who their teen follows and who follows them in return
  • Receive notifications about when their teen reports someone on Instagram, information about the person who was reported and the type of report that was made.
  • Set specific times when parents would like to limit their child’s screen time.

As part of the new features, teens will soon receive a notification (or nudge) that will encourage them to switch to a different topic if they are looking at something on Instagram consistently. This is not reserved for particular topics, but is there to allow teens to discover new things on the platform. Instagram recently commented on this in one of their blog posts:

‘’We designed this new feature because research suggests that nudges can be effective for helping people — especially teens — be more mindful of how they’re using social media in the moment. In a study on the effects of nudges on social media use, 58.2% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that nudges made their social media experience better by helping them become more mindful of their time on-platform.’’

Meta VR Supervision Tools

Parental supervision tools are also being made available on the Quest VR headsets. For these new supervision features to be made available, teens will need to initiate the process with acceptance from both parent and teen to link accounts. Once approved, parents will be able to:

  • Block and approve purchases on apps that are not age appropriate
  • Block specific apps that may be inappropriate and have awareness on all apps that are owned
  • Receive notifications when a purchase is made in VR
  • See how much screen time their teen has had in VR
  • See their friends list

Meta are also launching a new education hub for parents which gives a guide on these new supervision tools.

Considerations on Supervision Tools

New features from Instagram and the Quest VR headsets are a welcome addition to parental controls for social media. In particular, these platforms addressing mental wellbeing and need for agreement between parent and teen is an important step forward.

As we have said before, parental controls, whilst helpful, are not a guaranteed solution to prevent online harm. If your teen sees or is victim to something harmful online, it is essential to raise awareness around reporting. Report Harmful Content is there to support anyone over 13 with reporting harmful material. Parents and teens can use this platform to support them in navigating online spaces with confidence in knowing where to go if they encounter something harmful. You can also download our Instagram checklist for more info on security settings and parental controls.  

Instagram Checklist

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