20 December 2021
Instagram has announced it is implementing new safety measures on its platform to help improve the experience among the teens. The announcement from Facebook comes as a response in light of the criticism it started to receive after the whistleblower Francis Haugen testified that the company harms teen girls’ mental and profits from outrage.
In an interview with CNN’s State of the Union, Nick Clegg, the company’s vice president of global affairs, stated that Facebook will adhere to new measures to help improve the experience for the teens.
Clegg announced that Instagram will add ‘take a break’ and ‘nudge’ features to prompt teenagers in a couple of scenarios. The ‘nudge’ will be like a prod to remind the teens that they are watching the same content over and over again. The platform will start to nudge when it finds the content that is being watched again and again is not conducive to their well-being. The feature will also nudge them to look over other content. Clegg explains this is not going to be a forceful nudge where a teen has to take the said action. The type of content they wish to watch entirely depends on them.
The next feature called the ‘take a break’ will simply prompt the teens to take a break from Instagram if it detects a prolonged usage of the app. Facebook didn’t divulge the details like when exactly this prompt will show up for the user, like after a preset number of hours, like one or two hours.
It is currently unknown when Instagram plans to implement these two features on its platform.
In addition to these two new features, Instagram will continue to allow adults to supervise what their teens are doing online.
Reportedly, in response to an email from The Verge seeking further details, a Facebook spokesperson said the two new features are “not testing yet but will soon.”
However, the spokesperson pointed to a blog post Instagram shared a month back in which Instagram head Adam Mosseri stated the company was “exploring” the features.