December 5, 2022

Instagram’s parent company Meta is giving parents new tools to watch over teens. 

The company announced that starting on Tuesday, parents will have more power to supervise and limit their teens’ time on both Instagram and its Oculus Quest virtual reality headsets. They will be able to monitor what they’re doing, and who they are interacting with. 

Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri told “CBS Mornings” that as a father himself, he wants Instagram to lead on teen safety online.

“As a dad and as someone who’s talked to a lot of experts around the world, we believe that parents know what’s best for their children. What I’m most excited about is providing more tools for parents to shape their children’s experience on Instagram and on Quest VR into what’s best for their teen, for their child,” he said. 

Mosseri said Instagram’s new feature will give parents more control over how long their teen spends on the social media site. 

“One of the changes we’re launching this week is the parent can actually initiate that relationship, and then they can see how much time their teen spends on Instagram. They can set limits to that time, one new feature this week that they can actually pick periods of the week where their child can’t use Instagram, maybe it’s homework or school time,” said Mosseri. 

Quest VR has a similar feature for parents as well. Instagram also announced a new “nudge” feature that will encourage teen users to get away from content or particular themes that they are spending too long on. 

The new features come after a report by The Wall Street Journal in September that indicated top executives at Instagram were warned by researchers about the potential harmful impacts of the platform to young users. 

Mosseri, who testified in December before a Senate subcommittee investigating the harmful effects of Instagram, said that the safety of Instagram’s teen users is always a top priority. 

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Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri testifies during a Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee hearing titled Protecting Kids Online: Instagram and Reforms for Young Users on Capitol Hill, December 8, 2021 in Washington, DC. The committee questioned Mosseri about how the platform impacts the mental health and safety of teens and children. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

“I believe that one of our most important responsibilities is keeping teens safe online. I believe this is an industry-wide issue. I think we’re leading on the issue. I think we’ve invested more than any other company on safety more broadly. These tools have been in the works for a long time,” he said.  

“I can say that I’m proud of the work that we’ve done, but I also believe and I’m committed to as a parent that the work never ends and that we have to continue to innovate in the space,” Mosseri added.  

The new features are available for Instagram users in the U.S. starting today. They will be rolled out to other countries, including the UK, Japan, Australia, Ireland, Canada, France and Germany later this month, with plans to go global before the end of the year. 

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