Instagram Launch New Tools To Help Parents Keep Their Young Ones Safe

Instagram Launch New Tools To Help Parents Keep Their Young Ones Safe
B&T Magazine
Edited by B&T Magazine

Today, Instagram is introducing the next evolution of wellbeing tools to support the online wellbeing of young people, with the launch of Family Centre in Australia, a new place for parents and guardians to access Supervision Tools, resources from leading Australian experts and new wellbeing tools on Instagram.

Instagram has worked in close consultation with experts, parents, guardians and young people around Australia and the world to develop Family Centre, its Supervision Tools and source educational resources. Family Centre will be a new place for parents to oversee their young people’ accounts within Meta technologies, set up and use Supervision Tools, and access resources on how to communicate with their young people about internet use.

This is just one step on a longer path — Instagram’s vision for Family Centre is to eventually allow parents and guardians to help young people manage experiences across Meta technologies, all from one central place.

An Education Hub for Parents and Guardians

Family Centre (accessed via mobile / in-app only) includes a new education hub where parents and guardians can access resources from experts and review helpful articles, videos and tips on topics like how to talk to young people about social media. Parents can also watch video tutorials on how to use the new Supervision Tools to get the most out of the platform.

In Australia, Instagram has worked closely with groups including Butterfly, Orygen, PROJECT ROCKIT, ReachOut and eSafety to make their educational resources available to more parents, guardians and young people through Family Centre.

New Supervision Tools on Instagram

The Supervision Tools on Instagram (via mobile) are available in Australia today, and will allow parents and guardians to:

  • Manage how much time their young people spend on Instagram: Help young people manage their time on Instagram by setting screen time limits and scheduling breaks during the day and week
  • View and receive updates on what accounts their young people follow and the accounts that follow their young people: Allows you to stay up to date with who your young person connects with on Instagram
  • Be notified when their young people reports someone: Young people can choose to notify you if they make a report on Instagram, so you can discuss what happened together

On Instagram, parents and guardians can send invitations to their young people to initiate Supervision Tools. Over the next few months we’ll roll out additional Supervision Tools and features in Family Centre. To learn how to set-up the Supervision Tools visit Instagram’s website.

New features to support young peoples’ time on Instagram

The new features on Instagram that will remind young people to make their time online more intentional and to take a break. These include:

  • Alternate Topic Nudges: Young people will now see a notification that encourages them to switch to a different topic if they’re repeatedly looking at the same type of content, regardless of what it is. This notification is designed to encourage young people towards new topics and will exclude content that may be associated with appearance comparison.
  • Take a Break in Reels: Instagram launched their ‘Take a Break’ feature a few months ago to give people a new way to remind themselves to take time off Instagram. The company initially sent young people a notification to turn the feature on when they’d been scrolling in Explore. Now they’re also rolling out new notifications for young people that will remind them to turn on ‘Take a Break’ when they’ve been scrolling in Reels for a period of time. These new reminders will feature young creators in the mental health space, who will share their own personal tips for taking a break.

Mia Garlick, director of public policy for Meta Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands said: “We recognise our responsibility to protect the safety of people who use Meta’s services – especially the safety of young people. Their safety is of paramount importance to us, and we want them to have an experience that is both fun and safe, and we want to support their parents to assist them in doing this.”

“The launch of Instagram’s new Family Centre and Parental Supervision Tools in Australia is another step we’re taking to help keep people safe online. Our intention for these resources is to strike the right balance for young people’s desire for some autonomy when using Instagram, but also allows for supervision in a way that supports conversations between parents and young people when it is helpful. We draw from all of the feedback from our expert partners in the space, parents and young people to design all of our age-appropriate experiences and remain committed to ensure that everyone on our platforms are safe.”

Lucy Thomas, co-founder & CEO, PROJECT ROCKIT said: “As Australia’s youth-driven movement against (cyber)bullying, PROJECT ROCKIT’s long-standing collaboration with Instagram has mobilised thousands of school students with the skills to tackle difficult situations online. That’s why we are proud to support the launch of Instagram’s new Family Centre.”

“In launching this new Family Centre, Instagram is taking a pivotal step towards empowering parents and guardians with the knowledge and tools to support their young people online. By bringing together expert advice and innovative tools, Instagram’s Family Centre has the ability to facilitate greater support and assurance for parents, without sacrificing young people’s opportunities for digital participation.”

Tracey Campbell, marketing director, ReachOut said: “Research by ReachOut found that 36 per cent of parents in Australia feel unsure about the role they can play in keeping their teens safe on social media and 32 per cent aren’t quite sure how to use the safety controls. Parents’ top concerns about their teens’ use of social media include bullying, exposure to inappropriate content, unwanted contact or grooming, sexting or sharing nudes, and privacy concerns.”

“At ReachOut, we share the concerns Australian parents and carers have about online safety and acknowledge the impact it can have on the mental health of young people. ReachOut is committed to working with social media platforms, including Instagram, in order to provide advice and support and to reach young people with important mental health messages. ReachOut welcomes Instagram’s new Family Centre as an important new source of information and support for families in Australia.”

Melissa Wilton, head of communications and engagement, Butterfly said: “Butterfly is proud to continue collaborating with Instagram to foster positive body image online and mitigate harmful eating disorder content on the platform. Our relationship with Instagram has seen Butterfly involved in expert round table discussions about key matters of safety and wellbeing within the application. We’re grateful to be significantly valued as a mental health partner and are pleased to see Instagram taking on board our advice and guidance on complex issues.”

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