Instagram says it is going to start nudging teens to turn on “Take a Break” reminders and to stop consuming harmful content. The tool was announced on Tuesday in a move aimed at getting young users away from endless scroll.
How effective this will turn out remains unknown, but Instagram has been in the eyes of the storm in recent times following how it handles teen-related content on the platform.
“How do we not compromise teens’ freedoms and autonomy?” Dayna Geldwert head of global policy program at Instagram asked per Protocol. “How do we not seem patronizing but actually express and communicate the value of turning something like this on?”
In 2021, Instagram pressed the pause button, and said it will not go ahead with Instagram Kids. The social media giant made this known after fierce criticisms. In a statement, Instagram Head, Adam Mosseri said the company needed more time.
Instagram Kids is a version of the original Instagram app Facebook hoped to launch for children under 13. Mosseri said that Instagram would continue to work on experiences for younger users under the supervision of parents.
“While we stand by the need to develop this experience, we’ve decided to pause this project. This will give us time to work with parents, experts, policymakers and regulators, to listen to their concerns, and to demonstrate the value and importance of this project for younger teens online today.”
In a series of tweets, Mosseri blamed the media for misunderstanding the idea behind the app. in one of his tweets, he said: “It was never meant for younger kids, but for tweens (aged 10-12).” In a follow up tweet, he said: “leaked way before we knew what it would be. People feared the worst, and we had few answers at that stage. It’s clear we need to take more time on this.”
Facebook released a dedicated Messenger app for kids in 2017. Since that time, the company has added a couple of features to make it safer. In 2018, Facebook added the ability for kids to invite new friends to the chat app by seeking for parental approval.