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Instagram will roll out new parental control features to its platform in March, department chief Adam Mosseri said in a blog post. They will allow parents and guardians to see how much time their teens are spending on Instagram, set time limits, and be notified if their child reports someone. The commands were heralded as a set of new features designed to make the platform more secure, especially for its teenage users.

Although Mosseri’s post says these security features have been in place for “a long time,” their announcement comes after a series of damaging disclosures on Meta-owned social network. Most notably, internal documents leaked by whistleblower Frances Haugen showed Instagram was aware that her service could make body image issues worse for its teenage users. This week, Mosseri is due to testify before a Senate committee, where he will likely be questioned about the impact of Instagram on his young users.

Along with the new parental controls, Instagram says it is developing an education hub for parents and guardians to offer tips and tutorials on children’s use of social media.

In the more immediate future, Instagram is announcing the rollout of the “Take a Break” feature that it began testing last month. This activation feature prompts users to exit the app after they’ve scrolled for a certain amount of time, such as 10, 20, or 30 minutes. The notifications will prompt users to activate the feature, and Instagram reports that 90% of test users left reminders on once they were set. The feature launches today in the US, UK, Ireland, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia, and will be available globally early next year.

Other new security features include changes to how Instagram handles tagging permissions for teenage users, which are expected to roll out to everyone early next year. By default, Mosseri says the service will no longer allow users to tag or mention teenage users. There’s also a new mass delete feature coming in January, which will allow users to mass delete their posts, likes, and comments. Mosseri says this is designed to help users “manage their digital footprint.”

Mosseri’s post also details security features that are in their early stages of development. This confirms that the service continues to explore plans to “push” people off topics they have dwelled on for too long. When he announced the feature alongside Take a Break in October, Meta VP of Global Affairs Nick Clegg said it would apply to “content that may not be conducive to [a user’s] well-being. ”Instagram did not provide an indication as to when the feature will launch. The service is also exploring the introduction of a more stringent setting to control what content is recommended to users in Explore, aimed at limiting their exposure to “Potentially dangerous or sensitive content or accounts”.

While Instagram’s post contains a number of quotes from experts and research partners writing in support of the new features, Mosseri will have his work cut out for him if he is to convince increasingly critical lawmakers United States. “Meta is trying to deflect attention from its mistakes by rolling out parenting guides, using timers and content control features that consumers should have had all along,” said Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) . The New York Times. “But my colleagues and I see through what they do.”




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