On the eve of a Senate subcommittee hearing, Instagram announced in a blog post that it will roll out new parental control features on its platform in March.
According to Instagram's head Adam Mosseri post, the platform will allow parents and guardians to see how much time their teenagers spend on Instagram, set time limits, and get notified if their child reports someone.
The controls were revealed as a package of new features designed to make the platform a safer place, especially for its teenage users.
It's worth noting that Meta, Instagram's parent company, is currently facing a reputational crisis after the whistleblower, Frances Haugen, leaked internal documents showing executives knew of their sites' risks for teens' well-being, prompting a renewed US push for regulation.
Instagram's CEO, Adam Mosseri, is set to to testify on Wednesday at a Senate committee hearing titled "Protecting Kids Online: Instagram and Reforms for Young Users."
In addition to the new parental controls, Instagram says it’s working on an educational hub for parents and guardians to offer them tips and tutorials about children’s social media use.
The post also mentioned that it’s launching the “Take a Break” feature it started testing last month. This opt-in feature prompts users to step away from the app once they’ve been scrolling for a certain amount of time. Notifications will prompt users to turn the feature on, and according to Instagram, 90% of users in tests have left the reminders on once they’ve been set. The feature is launching in the US, UK, Ireland, Canada, New Zealand and Australia today, and will be available globally early next year.
Other new safety features include changes to how the platform handles tagging permissions for teenage users, which are due to roll out to everyone early next year. There’s also a new bulk delete feature coming in January, which will allow users remove their posts, likes, and comments en masse.
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