Instagram announced several new features to protect teenagers.
One of the more intriguing changes will be the inability of adults to direct message (DM) teenagers (users under 18 years old) who don’t follow them. If an adult tries to DM a teenager who does not follow them, they will be shown a “You can’t message this account unless they follow you” prompt. Teenagers will be shown safety notices when messaging adults they do not follow.
Instagram’s Parents Safety Guide
Instagram has also partnered with ConnectSafely and The Child Mind Institute to publish a new (53-page) Parents Guide. This guide will advise parents as well as young users on how to properly and safely use their platform. It will include conversation starters and additional education around privacy and security.
“Instagram can provide young people the opportunity to strengthen connections, practice social skills and find supportive communities. It’s important that teens and parents are equipped with information on how to manage their time on the platform so that it’s thoughtful, safe and intentional. The new Parents Guide we’ve worked on does a great job of distilling what parents should know about how to support their teens as they navigate social media.”Dr. Dave Anderson, Clinical Psychologist, Child Mind Institute
Instagram is planning other safety features to be rolled out in the future.