Guides, age-appropriate tools, more features to restrict older users from reaching out to the younger members, and more resources to improve online safety have been launched by Instagram.
The Parents Guide has been rolled out to apprise the parents about ways they can attempt to make Instagram a safer experience for their children. Safety tools, privacy settings, a list of tips, discussion topics, and more of such resources in the guide will help them navigate their children's online presence on Instagram.
The guide has been rolled out in India, along with US, Argentina, Brazil, and more countries, and is curated in partnership with local safety experts.
The minimum requirement for age to get on Instagram is 13, but since children have a tendency to lie about their age, Instagram is developing new artificial intelligence and machine learning to come up with age-appropriate features.
Whenever an adult who the kid doesn't follow tries to contact them via DMs, the feature will prevent the adults from sending messages to users under 18 who don’t follow them. The feature relies on machine learning technology that predicts users' ages. The adults will be notified that DMs are not an option to connect to the kid.
Prompts and safety notices that inform the younger users to stay cautious in conversations with adults they’re already connected to, and also notify them when an adult indulging in suspicious behavior tries to reach out to them.
For instance, when an adult sending large amounts of messages and follow requests to kids connect with a user under the age of 18, the kid will be shown a safety notice so they can end the conversation, or block, report, or restrict the adult.
To limit the number of adults connecting with users under 18, Instagram is exploring restricting adults from seeing teen accounts in 'Suggested Users', preventing them from discovering teen content in Reels or Explore, and automatically hiding their comments on public posts by teens.
While parents and kids both can attempt to limit inappropriate interactions between adults and teens, a safer option would be letting the kid join the platform whenever the parents think it would be appropriate as opposed to going by the minimum age requirement of 13.