Instagram will incorporate parental controls and reminders to rest from March | Technology


Parents will be able to control what their adolescent children do on Instagram – as long as the minors have established their real age on the platform – from next March, as announced on Tuesday by the director of the platform, Adam Mosseri, in the company’s blog. Parental control will allow you to see how much time children spend on the social network and set daily time limits. In addition, the technology ensures that it will send notifications to its users while they are using the application so that they can take breaks.

Instagram, the social network of photographs owned by Meta ―former Facebook― since 2012, has announced these new measures in the midst of a huge reputational storm from which it has not quite emerged. For months, the platform has been in the spotlight for the publication of internal documents in which the harmful effects that the network can cause on minors were recognized. Precisely to account for those damages that the company was aware of and did not make public (but which revealed The Wall Street Journal in September), Mosseri will appear this Wednesday as a witness before the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection of the US Senate.

Parents can set time limits of 30 or 45 minutes or one, two or three hours, but the possibility of deactivating them will always be available. They will also be able to see the time that the children have invested in the application throughout a week, and a daily average. Until now, any user could see in hours and minutes the time that had spent in the application during the last seven days (in the profile> menu> your activity> time) and they could also schedule a reminder so that the user was aware that he had exceeded the minutes or hours he had set as a cap, but it was a form of self-control. The difference is that with the new measures, parents will be able to do it externally with their children, similar to how YouTube does in its Kids version.

Although these new features are intended for adolescent users, some of the features that it is going to implement can be used by all users regardless of their age. One of them is the option to receive notifications that remind the netizen that he has been doing too long scroll, going down and down in the infinite contents that the application offers. ” Do you want to take a break? ” Instagram will ask through a pop-up window. In addition, the user will be able to program rest reminders that jump every 10, 20 or 30 minutes. The platform will recommend in those moments that the user take breaths, write what he is thinking, listen to music or do some pending task; tips that seem aimed at those with addictive problems with the application.

With the aim that users, especially minors, have more power over the trace they leave on the Internet, since January they will be able to eliminate their publications more easily, I like it they have given and the comments they have written. Until now, these last two could only be deleted by searching for each specific publication, but as of March they will be able to see all their interactions in a linear way on the same screen. They can, for example, delete several photos or videos at the same time, while during these years they had to do it one at a time. Mosseri explained: “I think this tool is particularly important so that adolescents can fully understand what information they have shared and what others can see, as well as having an easier way to manage their fingerprint.” In the menu that Instagram prepares to manage the account, there will also be an option to review the changes that have been made to the account since it was created and another to delete the search history.

This same year, Instagram began to configure the accounts of minors as private when they registered in the application (although children could change it later), but Instagram intends to go a step further to protect not only the mental health of teenagers, but their safety. For the second, as of 2022, adults who are not followed by minors will not be able to send them private messages. They also won’t be able to tag minors or mention them in posts if the kids don’t follow them.

“We continue to develop innovative solutions to verify the age of users on Instagram,” Mosseri said in the same statement. The minimum age to use the application is 13 years old, but the minor can easily falsify their date of birth. According to Meta, both on Facebook and Instagram the company uses artificial intelligence to verify the age of users. For example, it examines the birthday greetings that the user in question receives to see if the age mentioned by others is the same as the one set in their account, and it also compares it with other profiles linked to it, such as, for example, from Facebook. The success of the new measures will also depend on the effectiveness of these methods, beyond the control of the parents.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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