News 28 July 2021

Instagram Introduces New Safety Features For Young Users

28 July 2021

In a bid to keep its young users safe, Instagram has started rolling out new features which aim to create “age-appropriate experiences”.

From this week when children under 16 sign up for Instagram, their accounts will be made private automatically so that only people who follow them can see their posts. Teenagers who already have open accounts on Instagram will receive notifications explaining the benefits of going private and how to switch.

Also among the update for youngsters will be the prevention of “unwanted contact from adults” so that adults who have displayed “potentially suspicious behaviour” – such as being blocked or reported by young people – will have limited access to interacting with teenagers.

Those adults will not see posts by teenagers in their Explore and Reels sections and Instagram won’t suggest they follow teenagers’ accounts.

Instagram also announced it will be changing its advertising policy to reduce hyper-targeted ads to teens so that advertisers will now only be able to use age, gender and location to target users under 18, as opposed to before where their interests and activity across other websites were used.

“There’s no magic switch that makes people suddenly aware about how to use the internet,” Karina Newton, Instagram’s head of public policy, told NPR about the changes.

“We want to keep young people safe, we want to give them good experiences, and we want to help teach them, as they use our platforms, to develop healthy and quality habits when they’re using the Internet and apps and social media”.

[Image by BigTunaOnline via Shutterstock]