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Instagram Introduces Stricter Message Settings for Teens on Instagram and Facebook

Instagram Introduces Stricter Message Settings for Teens on Instagram and Facebook
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  • The company is enhancing its efforts to provide age-appropriate experiences for teens and simplify parental control over their online experiences.
  • To protect teens from unwanted contact, Instagram is turning off their ability to receive messages from anyone they don't follow or aren't connected to by default.
  • Parents will now need to approve certain Instagram settings changes before their teens can apply them, utilizing Instagram's parental supervision tools.
  • Instagram has developed over 30 tools and features to support teens and parents, focusing on creating safe, age-appropriate online experiences.
Screenshot showing changes to message settings.

In continuation of its commitment to offering safe online experiences for teens and supporting parental control, Instagram is implementing additional measures. These include stricter private messaging settings for teens, turning off their ability to receive messages from non-followers by default. This default setting ensures that teens only receive messages from people they follow or are connected to, enhancing their safety. Furthermore, teens under 16 will need parental permission to change this setting. Similar changes will be applied to Messenger, where under-16s will only receive messages from Facebook friends or people connected through phone contacts.

In addition to messaging settings, Instagram is introducing a feature to protect teens from unwanted and inappropriate images in their messages, discouraging the sharing of such content. This feature will also work in encrypted chats and is set to launch later this year.

Screenshot showing parental approval to change account privacy settings.

To empower parents in shaping their teens' online experiences, Instagram is enhancing its parental supervision tools. Now, parents will be prompted to approve or deny their teens' requests to change default safety and privacy settings, fostering offline conversations between parents and teens as they navigate online experiences together. These tools aim to strike a balance between privacy and safety, providing parents with the means to protect their teens while respecting their privacy and communication preferences. Larry Magid, CEO of ConnectSafely, emphasizes the importance of empowering parents with tools to safeguard their teens while respecting their privacy.

For more information on Instagram's tools and features for teens and families, visit the Family Center for resources and expert insights.

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