New Parental Supervision Tools for Instagram and Quest VR

22 Jun 2022 UK SIC

For June, new parental supervision tools are becoming available for Instagram as well as on Quest VR headsets from Meta. These new features will allow parents and carers to have more supervision over their teen’s online activity.

Features such as parents and carers having the ability to set screen time limits as well as having more awareness around reporting are just some of the new inclusions.

In this latest blog, we explore these new parental tools and see what they can offer.

Instagram Parental Supervision Tools

The new parental tools from Instagram are looking to include a supervision option, which gives parents and carers more awareness around their teen’s online activity. This feature needs to be approved by both the parent or carer and their child before supervision options are made available.

If agreed upon and activated, parents and carers will then have the ability to:

  • See how much time their teen spends on Instagram
  • Have awareness of who they follow and who follows them back
  • Get notified about when their child reports someone on Instagram. This includes getting information about who they reported and what type of report was made.
  • Set screen time limits across a daily or weekly basis.

As part of some new digital wellbeing features, teens will also start to receive nudges that will encourage them to switch to a different topic on Instagram if they are looking at something consistently. This new feature has been included to give teens more opportunity to discover new things. Instagram recently said in one of their blog posts:

‘’We designed this new feature because research suggests that nudges can be effective for helping people — especially teens — be more mindful of how they’re using social media in the moment. In a study on the effects of nudges on social media use, 58.2% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that nudges made their social media experience better by helping them become more mindful of their time on-platform.’’

New VR Supervision Tools from Meta

Parental supervision tools are also becoming available on the Quest VR headsets from Meta. As with Instagram, teens will need to start the process and get acceptance from both parent and teen in order to link accounts and make the features available. Once approved, parents will have the ability to:

  • Manage purchases: Block and approve purchases that are not age appropriate
  • Awareness of apps: See what apps are owned and block any that may be inappropriate
  • Be notified when a purchase is made
  • Have awareness of their child’s screen time
  • See who their teen has on their friends list

Meta are also launching a new education hub which supports these new supervision tools.

Supervision Tools – Considerations

These new features for Instagram and Quest VR are a welcome addition to parental controls for the platforms.

Despite this, it is important to note that parental controls, whilst helpful, are not a guaranteed solution to stay safe online and prevent online harm.

If you or your teen sees or is victim to something harmful online, it is essential to report it. 

Report Harmful Content is there to support anyone over 13 with reporting harmful material online. Parents and teens can use this platform to gain awareness around where to go if they encounter something harmful.

You can also download the Instagram checklist from our partners at SWGfL for more info on security settings.  

Finally, our partner Childnet have recently developed a conversation guide “My Life Online” which guides parents and carers in an open conversation with a child about life online.

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