Family Centre and Parental Supervision Tools in Australia

June 15, 2022

We recognise our responsibility to protect the safety of people who use Meta’s services – especially the safety of young people. Their safety is of paramount importance to us, and we want them to have an experience that is both fun and safe, and we want to support their parents to assist them in doing this.

Today’s launch of Instagram’s new Family Centre and Parental Supervision Tools in Australia is another step we’re taking to help keep people safe online. Our intention for these resources is to strike the right balance for young people’s desire for some autonomy when using Instagram, but also allows for supervision in a way that supports conversations between parents and young people when it is helpful. 

Instagram has worked in close consultation with experts, parents, guardians and young people around Australia and the world to develop Family Centre, its Supervision Tools and source educational resources. Family Centre will be a new place for parents to oversee their young people’ accounts within Meta technologies, set up and use Supervision Tools, and access resources on how to communicate with their young people about internet use. 

Today’s update is just one step on a longer path – Instagram’s vision for Family Centre is to eventually allow parents and guardians to help young people manage experiences across Meta technologies, all from one central place.

An Education Hub for Parents and Guardians

Family Centre (accessed via mobile / in-app only) 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 young people about social media. Parents can also watch video tutorials on how to use the new Supervision Tools to get the most out of the platform. 

In Australia, Instagram has worked closely with groups including Butterfly, Orygen, PROJECT ROCKIT, ReachOut and eSafety to make their educational resources available to more parents, guardians and young people through Family Centre. 

New Supervision Tools on Instagram

The Supervision Tools on Instagram (via mobile) are available in Australia today, and will allow parents and guardians to:

  • Manage how much time their young people spend on Instagram: Help young people manage their time on Instagram by setting screen time limits and scheduling breaks during the day and week
  • View and receive updates on what accounts their young people follow and the accounts that follow their young people: Allows you to stay up to date with who your young person connects with on Instagram
  • Be notified when their teen reports someone: Young people can choose to notify you if they make a report on Instagram, so you can discuss what happened together

On Instagram, parents and guardians can send invitations to their young people to initiate Supervision Tools. Over the next few months we’ll roll out additional Supervision Tools and features in Family Centre. To learn how to set-up the Supervision Tools visit our website.

New features to support young people’ time on Instagram

The new features on Instagram that will remind young people to make their time online more intentional and to take a break. These include:

  • Alternate Topic Nudges
    Young people will now see a notification that encourages them to switch to a different topic if they’re repeatedly looking at the same type of content, regardless of what it is. This notification is designed to encourage young people towards new topics and will exclude content that may be associated with appearance comparison.
  • Take a Break in Reels
    We launched our ‘Take a Break’ feature a few months ago to give people a new way to remind themselves to take time off Instagram. We initially sent young people a notification to turn the feature on when they’d been scrolling in Explore. Now we’re also rolling out new notifications for young people that will remind them to turn on ‘Take a Break’ when they’ve been scrolling in Reels for a period of time. These new reminders will feature young creators in the mental health space, who will share their own personal tips for taking a break.

We hope these tools and resources will be a valuable step in strengthening the relationship between parents and young people to support a safe experience online and appreciate the support of our partners’ collaboration in making these tools meaningful for the Australian community. 

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