The tools are aimed at allowing parents and guardians to monitor and support their teens’ online activities.
“Accessible through the Meta Family Center, these tools provide resources and guidance from leading experts,” noted the social media firm.
The Parental Supervision features are currently available in the United States (US), the United Kingdom (UK) and Canada, with plans for expansion to more countries soon.
With these tools, parents can gain insights into their teens’ Messenger usage, including the amount of time spent on messaging and information about their teens’ message settings.
However, it’s important to note that these tools do not grant access to read their teens’ messages.
The initial set of Parental Supervision tools enables parents and guardians to:
- Monitor the time their teens spend on Messenger.
- Receive updates regarding their teens’ Messenger contacts, privacy settings, and safety measures.
- Receive notifications if their teen reports someone, provided the teen opts to share that information.
- View who can send messages to their teen, and be alerted if their teen changes this setting.
- View who can see their teen’s Messenger stories and receive notifications if these settings are modified.
“Meta plans to add more features to Parental Supervision on Messenger over the next year, enabling parents to assist their teens in managing their time and interactions while respecting their privacy. These tools will function in both unencrypted and end-to-end encrypted chats,” Meta noted.
According to the firm, the introduction of these Parental Supervision tools aligns with Meta’s commitment to establishing the Family Center as a centralized hub where parents and guardians can access resources and tools to help manage their teens’ experiences across Meta technologies.
It also aims to foster open dialogue between parents and teens about their online lives.
In addition to the Messenger update, Meta is currently testing new privacy features for Instagram direct messages (DMs) to protect users, particularly teens, from unwanted interactions.
One such feature requires individuals to send an invite to connect before messaging someone who doesn’t follow them.
Furthermore, message request invites will be limited to text-only until the recipient accepts the invitation. This measure ensures that people won’t receive unsolicited photos, videos, or other media from individuals they don’t follow.
Meta is also implementing measures to encourage teens to manage their time spent on Facebook and Instagram. For instance, teens will receive notifications on Facebook after spending 20 minutes on the platform, prompting them to take breaks and set daily time limits.
On Instagram, there will be a nudge feature suggesting that teens close the app if they are scrolling through Reels late at night.
To further enhance Parental Supervision on Instagram, Meta has added new tools. These features provide parents with greater visibility into their teens’ experiences on the platform and prompt teens to have conversations with their parents through new notifications.
Parents will now be able to see the number of common friends their teen shares with other accounts, facilitating discussions about these connections.
Additionally, parents can customize the notifications they receive and their frequency from Parental Supervision on Instagram.
“Meta’s latest updates aim to empower teens to feel more in control of their online experiences while equipping parents with the tools and information needed to support their teens. The company remains committed to collaborating with parents and experts to develop additional features that prioritize the well-being of teens and their families.”