Instagram expands parental controls, starts nudging teens toward new topics

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(Image credit: Joe Maring / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Instagram previously announced parental controls and new features aimed at encouraging safer browsing for teens.
  • The company is now improving its parental supeto encouragervision feature, which will roll out to more countries soon.
  • The app will nudge teens away from certain content, suggesting other topics for the user to explore.
  • Instagram will now remind teens to turn on the Take a Break feature when scrolling through Reels for a certain period of time.

Instagram has been hard at work making improvements to the app to encourage safer browsing for teens. The company previously launched some features like parental controls and "Take a Break" and is now expanding on those features while making them available to more users.

The company announced on Tuesday that the new parental controls are gaining new features, now allowing parents to send supervision requests to their teens. This feature previously only let teens send requests to their parents. Once set up, parents will be able to set limits for browsing on Instagram and view details about an account or post that their teen reports.

For teens, Instagram is finally rolling out a feature that will nudge them away from certain topics when they're spending too much time looking at the same content on Explore. The app will pop up suggestions on content that the teen may want to switch to, and the suggested content will avoid the types of posts that teens may find damaging to their body image.

Instagram will nudge teens towards new topics

(Image credit: Instagram)

According to Instagram, studies — including its own research — found that the effects of nudges improved the browsing experience for users and encouraged one in five teens to switch topics.

Instagram is also partnering with creators in the U.S. to help encourage teens and promote a better self-image. Creators such as @foodwithsoy, @abraxaxs, and @mayasideas will also provide their voices to Instagram's Take a Break feature, which will use Reels to encourage teens to enable the setting if they've been scrolling for too long.

Instagram Take a Break reminder

(Image credit: Instagram)

These Take a Break reminders are currently being tested in the U.S., U.K., Ireland, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Parental supervision features are currently available in the U.S. but will expand to the U.K., Japan, Australia, Ireland, Canada, France, and Germany this month.

Lastly, Meta also announced a new update to its best VR headsets that includes parental controls and supervision tools and also lets users invite friends into their virtual homes on Horizon Worlds.

Derrek Lee
News Editor

Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.