In a bid to ensure proper parental supervision and help teens better manage their time, the American photo and video sharing social networking service, Instagram, has announced the introduction of new tools and resources for parents and teens in virtual reality.
According to the social networking service, the new tools and resources were designed to support parents, guardians, and teens in VR and on Instagram, and also to help teens better manage their time on Instagram with new nudges and reminders to use take a break.
The new tools allow parents and guardians to manage and control their teenager’s Instagram accounts. With the parental supervision tools and resources for the quest, parents can now approve or deny the request from the Oculus mobile app, view all apps their teen owns, and their list of Oculus friends, and can also block specific apps that may be inappropriate for their teen, which will prevent the teen from launching those apps.
To access these features, parents and guardians need to send a link to their teen’s account, then the teen must initiate the process, and both the parent and teen have to agree. Once this is done, they have full control of their teen’s account.
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Similarly, the platform has expanded its parental supervision features. Here, parents and guardians can now send invitations to their teens to initiate supervision tools, set specific times during the day or week when they would like to limit their teen’s use of the app, and are more information when their teen reports an account or post, including who was reported.
However, the supporting teens’ time features are the most exciting. The feature was designed to help teens better manage their time and reminds them to take a break on the App. On the other hand, a new nudge is also introduced. With the new nudges, notifications will be sent to encourage them to switch to a different topic if they’re repeatedly looking at the same type of content on Explore. This nudge is designed to encourage teens to discover something new and excludes certain topics that may be associated with appearance comparison.
Speaking on the new tools and resources features, the founder and CEO of Parent Zone, Vicki Shotbolt, said:
It is encouraging to know that Meta has been listening to young people and their parents and creating tools that encourage timely conversations. At Parent Zone, we know how difficult it can be for parents when they feel locked out of their children’s digital worlds. With these new tools, we are seeing a shift to a greater partnership between families and platforms and that is an incredibly positive step.
While on the other hand, Dr Sameer Hinduja, Co-Director of the Cyberbullying Research Center, maintained that:
“With VR technologies increasingly gaining traction, and the Quest becoming a favourite product of many youths, parents and guardians will now have access to a suite of tools to safeguard and stay involved with their teen’s participation and experiences. We’re glad that Meta continues to seek out data-driven insight from scholars and practitioners in various social science fields to build solutions that seek to equip youth, families and educators with the tools and resources they need to safely enjoy exploring and interacting on their favourite platforms.”