— Facebook

Introducing Family Center and Parental Supervision Tools on Instagram and in VR

  • Today, we’re introducing Family Center, a new place for parents and guardians to access supervision tools and resources from leading experts. Supervision tools are available on Instagram today, and will begin rolling out in VR in May.
  • This is the first step in a longer term journey to develop intuitive supervision tools, informed by experts, teens and parents. 
  • 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.

Parents and guardians know what’s best for their teens, and in December I committed to developing new supervision tools that allow them to be more involved in their teens’ experiences.

Today, we’re making these supervision tools available in our new Family Center. We worked closely with experts, parents, guardians and teens to develop Family Center, a new place for parents to oversee their teens’ accounts within Meta technologies, set up and use supervision tools, and access resources on how to communicate with their teens about internet use.

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.

An Education Hub for Parents and Guardians

Family Center includes a new education hub where parents and guardians can access resources from experts and review helpful articles, videos and tips on topics like how to talk to teens about social media. Parents can also watch video tutorials on how to use the new supervision tools available on Instagram today. We worked closely with groups like Connect Safely and Net Family News to develop these resources, and we’ll continue to add new information to Family Center’s education hub.

Product mock of the education hub in Family Center

New Supervision Tools on Instagram

Supervision tools on Instagram are available in the US today, with plans to roll out globally in the coming months. Our first set of parental supervision tools on Instagram will allow parents and guardians to:

  • 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.

Learn more about how to set up supervision on Instagram. Teens will need to initiate supervision for now in the app on mobile devices, and we will add the option for parents to initiate supervision in the app and on desktop in June. Teens will need to approve parental supervision if their parent or guardian requests it.

Product mocks of Family Center in Instagram

Over the next few months we’ll add additional features, including letting parents set the hours during which their teen can use Instagram and the ability for more than one parent to supervise a teen’s account.

VR Parental Supervision Tools

We’re also announcing VR parental supervision tools that will roll out to Quest in the coming months. As a first step to giving people more customized control over their VR experience, we’ll expand the functionality of our existing unlock pattern on Quest headsets, starting in April. This will allow parents to prevent teens 13+ from accessing experiences they feel aren’t age-appropriate by using an Unlock Pattern to lock access to those apps. And in May, we’ll start automatically blocking teens 13+ from downloading IARC rated age-inappropriate apps. We’ll also launch a Parent Dashboard, hosting a suite of supervision tools that will link to the teen’s account based on consent from both sides.

While we have involved young people, parents and experts in our product design process for a long time, we always look for more ways to incorporate their feedback directly. One way we’re doing this is through the Trust, Transparency and Control (TTC) Labs and our global co-design program — a multidisciplinary research program that engages and empowers young people, parents, guardians and experts to collaborate with us in the product design process. We used insights from this program to inform how we built our supervision tools, and will continue to do so as we introduce more features for families over time.

As always, we appreciate the input from experts who help us deepen our understanding of this area, so we can continue protecting teens, supporting families and preserving all the good that young people derive from the internet. 

“The co-design process has clearly shown that teens like to be able to call on their parents for support and guidance, but often don’t know where or how to begin. By proposing parental supervision tools across apps, Meta will help overcome this hurdle. Especially since the tools are unobtrusive, respectful of privacy, and offer the ideal training wheels for younger teens building their competence and confidence in the online social environment.” – Janice Richardson, International Advisor at Insights SA

Encouraging informed parental engagement in their children’s digital presence is an important way to support young people’s wellness online. Parents can model and mentor the use of these powerful tools for their children, engaging in these spaces alongside their children to provide opportunities for learning. Parents can support and monitor their children’s gradual increase in independence as they demonstrate responsible and safe use, with respect for others and for themselves. By engaging parents as co-learners with their children, we can support their parenting in the digital ecosystem in ways consistent with their parenting in the physical world, setting their children up for long-term physical, mental, and social wellness.” – Dr. Michael Rich, Director and Founder at Boston Children’s Hospital’s Digital Wellness Lab

We’re happy to see the new tools Meta is launching to support parents in helping their children navigate the various social apps. Our research shows that regular parental supervision and co-participation is the best way to inoculate kids from the worst aspects of the internet. We’re hopeful that parents will take advantage of these new resources, and will continue to collaborate with Meta in their efforts to make their products safer and more enjoyable for families.” – Justin Patchin, Co-founder and Co-director at Cyberbullying Research Center


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