Instagram revealed several measures geared at safeguarding young users from hazardous content on the Facebook-owned site on Tuesday, including a feature that encourages youngsters to take breaks from the photo-sharing network.
Instagram’s previously announced “Take A Break” feature encourages kids who have been on the social media network for a while to stop scrolling, according to Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri in a blog post. On Tuesday, it went live in the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia, with the rest of the globe following early next year, he added.
According to the article, young users will receive notifications about the functionality and will be encouraged to set reminders to take more breaks in the future. It’s one of the initiatives that Facebook, now known as Meta Platforms, has emphasized on its platforms as it grapples with criticism for not doing enough to combat dangerous material and new laws aimed at imposing constraints on internet companies.
Former Facebook product manager turned whistleblower Frances Haugen testified to lawmakers in the United States and Europe working on those measures, citing internal company research suggesting that peer pressure generated by Instagram has led to mental health and body-image issues in young users, particularly girls, as well as eating disorders and suicidal thoughts in some cases.
She addressed to Congress again this week, asking legislators to go through with legislation proposed since her October speech. This includes limitations on the long-standing legal rights for social media expression.
Haugen has also provided advice on new internet restrictions that are considerably farther advanced in the United Kingdom and the European Union, which has led attempts to rein in giant digital corporations.
Instagram also announced on Tuesday that its first tools for parents will be available early next year, allowing parents to track how much time their children spend on the platform and establish time limitations.
The social media platform also said it’s working on features that will prevent people from tagging or mentioning teens who don’t follow them, nudge young users away from one topic after a while, and be stricter about what posts, hashtags, and accounts it recommends in order to reduce potentially harmful or sensitive content.