Track services

Instagram launches tools for parents to track teen activity

Instagram on Wednesday morning launched a “Family Center” with supervision tools allowing parents to track their children’s time and activity on the platform.

In the new Family Center, parents will be able to see how much time their teens spend on Instagram and set time limits.

They will also be able to monitor their teen’s usage on the platform, including being able to see and receive updates on the accounts their teens are following and the accounts their teens are following.

Instagram will also allow parents to set notifications when their teens share that they’ve reported someone.

The rollout of Instagram Family Center follows months of extensive scrutiny of the platform’s impact on children’s safety and mental health, sparked by the publication of internal research by Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen.

The new tools released Wednesday are just “one step on a longer journey,” Instagram manager Adam Mosseri said in a blog post.

“Our vision for Family Center is to ultimately empower parents and guardians to help their teens manage experiences through meta-technology, all from one central location,” Mosseri said.

The tools are launching in the US first, with plans to roll out globally “in the coming months”, according to the blog.

Meta also announced parental supervision tools for its virtual reality (VR) services on Quest that will be introduced in the coming months.

Meta will allow parents to prevent teens from accessing features they believe are not age-appropriate by using an “unlock pattern” on the Quest headset to automatically lock access to these apps. Meta already allows users to create an unlock pattern to provide additional security on headset devices.

In May, the company will go one step further by automatically blocking teens from downloading “IARC-rated age-inappropriate apps,” according to the blog post.

Meta will also launch a parent dashboard for its VR services that will host supervision tools that will be linked to the teens’ account based on consent from both sides.