Meta Unveils ‘Family Center’ Parental Controls for Instagram

Meta said Wednesday it’s rolling out new tools meant to give parents and guardians more control over how their teens use social media and virtual reality.

Instagram on Wednesday morning launched a “Family Center” with supervisory tools for parents to track their children’s time and activity on the platform, starting in the United States, with a global rollout set for the “coming months”.

Instagram’s new supervision tools will enable parents to see how much time their teen spends on the application and set time limits, as well as view accounts the teen follows and accounts that follow the teen and receive notifications if the teen reports another user.

As the tools debut, teens will have to initiate their use via the mobile app, with the option for parents to initiate supervision on desktop or mobile coming in June. Teens must approve parental supervision if their parent or guardian requests it.

The first set of parental controls will allow for the following:

  • View how much time their teens spend on Instagram and set time limits.
  • Be notified when their teen shares they’ve reported someone.
  • View and receive updates on what accounts their teens follow and the accounts that follow their teens.

“This is just one step on a longer path — our vision for Family Center is to eventually allow parents and guardians to help their teens manage experiences across Meta technologies, all from one central place,” said Adam Mosseri, who heads Instagram.

The release of more parental controls underscores how Meta is trying to respond to criticism it’s not doing enough to protect the safety of young people on its services.