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Meta is adding Instagram and Messenger parental controls

Today, Meta introduced parental controls for Instagram, Facebook, and Messenger. This includes a new parental supervision hub in Messenger, pre-emptive blocking of unwanted DMs on Messenger and Instagram, and nudges to remind teens to take a break.

The U.S., U.K., and Canada will get Meta’s Family Center’s messenger supervision controls first. These tools will show guardians their teens’ privacy and safety settings, Messenger contact list changes, and app usage. When a teen reports someone, the child must consent to notify the guardian.

Parents can also set who can message their teens (friends, friends of friends, or no one) and who can view their stories. If a child changes these settings, guardians will be notified.

Instagram has restricted teen-adult interaction in recent years. The company will now require non-connected users to request permission to interact. The sender can send one text-only invite, according to Instagram.

The company is also implementing controls to encourage users to take breaks. In January, Instagram introduced “Quiet mode” to pause notifications and auto-reply to DMs. Users in the U.S., U.K., Ireland, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand will have access. “Quiet mode” was announced globally today.

Instagram is testing “take a break” features that prompt users to put their phones down after a set amount of time. Meta now alerts Facebook users to take a break after 20 minutes. Reels will also warn teens to close the app at night.

Meta is also sending teens an Instagram notice to let their guardians monitor their accounts for safety. The company said parents can now view mutuals for accounts a teen follows or follows them.

Meta introduced teen ad targeting on Instagram and Facebook this year. It supported a tool in February that prevented minors from posting intimate photos online. The company still advertises to teens. The company was fined over $400 million for violating GDPR child privacy rules last year.

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