Instagram, which is owned by Meta (FB), is finally implementing long-promised Instagram parental controls. Instagram’s new capabilities, which are now available for US users, allow teens’ parents and guardians to limit app usage time and see who they follow and who follows them. And if you’re a parent or guardian looking to limit your child’s internet usage, you’ve come to the right place. I’ll guide you through the steps and explain what the tools can’t accomplish. At least not yet. But first, let’s take a look at how we got here.
Instagram’s new features come after whistleblower Frances Haugen leaked a trove of internal Meta papers to media outlets, revealing that the company was aware that Instagram had a harmful influence on the body images of young females. Haugen testified before the Senate Consumer Protection Subcommittee in October, accusing Meta of purposefully making Instagram more addicting for underage users.
Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri stated shortly after Haugen’s testimony and before his own hearing before Congress that the company will soon introduce parental control tools. In fact, before his testimony, Mosseri stated in a blog post that Instagram had been working on them for some time. Now that you’re up to speed, let’s look at how to use the new Instagram parental controls feature.
Age requirements for Instagram accounts
Many parents are concerned about their teen’s Instagram account. Instagram claims that privacy laws prevent them from giving anybody, even parents, access to an account that belongs to an authorized account holder. Any user over the age of 13 is considered an approved account holder. If your kid is at least 13 years old, you must work with them to implement several extra security and privacy features throughout their account to help keep them safe.
How to use Instagram parental controls
Instagram does not include any parent-specific safety or security measures to help parents in monitoring their teen’s account. You and your teen, on the other hand, can work by using the platform’s general safety and security features (as well as best practices) to help prevent them from being exposed to or falling victim to anything suspicious or abusive.
Make your teen’s profile is private
Only followers can view their posts and stories in this manner. New users who wish to follow a private profile must first be approved. Even if your teen tags their posts with a location tag or a hashtag, non-followers will not be able to see them.
Unknown followers should be removed
This does not block them; it merely removes their posts and stories from your teen’s feed. If a removed follower attempts to refollow your teen and their profile is set to private, they can be rejected.
Personal information should not be included in the bio description of a profile
Non-followers can still see a private account’s name, profile photo, bio description, and website. As a result, it’s critical that your teen refrains from revealing personal information such as their address, phone number, social networking links, school, location, and so on.
Filter out unwanted comments to prevent them from appearing on posts
You can put on a general Hide Offensive Comments setting or use the Manual Filter setting to insert terms you don’t want to see in your teen’s comment settings (Profile > Menu > Settings > Privacy > Comments). Anyone who tries to leave a comment that is caught by these filters will have it instantly deleted.
Block comments from specific people
In your teen’s comments settings, you can click Block Comments From and then search for people to add to this list. Anyone who has been added will not be told that they are no longer permitted to comment on your posts or stories. When they try to leave a comment, only they see it—not your teen or anyone else.
Hide certain followers’ stories
Stories can be hidden from any one or many followers so that they do not display in their stories feed or as an update on your teen’s profile. This is helpful if your teen posts stories that aren’t suitable or applicable to certain followers.
When sharing stories, use Close Friends
Your kid can use Instagram’s Close Friends function to build a list of people with whom they wish to share their experiences privately. This is similar to hiding stories from certain Instagram users in that it encourages your teen to only post stories with the most relevant people.
Limit engagement with specific users
Select Restrict from the three dots in the upper right corner of a user’s profile. Only your teen and the restricted user can view the comments left on your teen’s posts (until the comment is approved). Direct messages are also shown as message requests, which can be approved or rejected before they are read.
Instagram users can be blocked
If you don’t want someone to follow your teen or send them direct messages, you can block them. When your adolescent blocks someone on Instagram, their profile is fully hidden and invisible to that blocked user, even if they try to find them.
Discuss Instagram scams with your teen
There are several, like the Instagram money scam, might be misinterpreted as real account activity. Make sure you and your teen are aware of the most recent scams on the platform and report any questionable accounts. Tap the three dots in the top right corner of the user’s profile (or direct message chat) to report an account, then tap Report.
When you enable parental controls on an Instagram account, you have the ability to manage and monitor your teen’s activity on the platforms. You can get further information on parental controls by visiting the help center of Instagram. Additionally, several applications now include parental controls to ensure the safety of young users.