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Facebook adds parental control tools to Messenger

Meta has added new tools to its Family Center that will allow parents to see and control how their teenage kids are using Messenger. They’ll now be able to view how much time their kid spends on the app, along with their privacy and safety settings. Parents and guardians will be able to see who can message their child and who can see their stories. In addition, they can get notifications for changes to their teen’s contact list and for any changes their kid makes to their privacy and safety settings. If their child reports a user to Meta, parents can also get notified if their teen chooses to share the information with them. 

The social networking giant said these are but the first batch of parental supervision tools coming to Family Center, and that it plans to add more over the next year. While they’re only rolling out for users in the US, UK and Canada at the moment, Meta intends to expand their availability to other regions around the world in the coming months. Take note that Facebook has had parental controls for Messenger Kids for years, and these tools are for the main Messenger app, meant for parents with teens 13 to 18 years old. 

A screenshot showing how much time a teenage spends on Messenger
Facebook/Meta

Aside from these new parental tools, Meta will now show teens a notification when they’ve already spent 20 minutes on Facebook to urge them to set daily time limits. For Instagram, it’s exploring a new nudge feature that will ask teens to close the app if they’ve been scrolling Reels at night. Meta has also expanded its parental controls for Instagram to show parents how many friends their teen has in common with accounts they follow and are followed by. Plus, teens will get a new notification after they’ve blocked someone, encouraging them to add their parents to supervise their account. 

Three Instagram screenshots against a colorful background.
Instagram/Meta

The company has a few safety updates that aren’t teen-focused, as well. It’s rolling out Quiet Mode, which mutes all notifications and changes a user’s profile status, on Instagram around the world over the coming weeks. It’s also currently testing a couple of new features meant to protect Instagram users from unwanted DMs. Users must now send an invite to connect to someone who doesn’t follow them before being able to send a message. Further, they can only send one invite at a time and can’t send more until the recipient accepts it. These message request invites are text only, prohibiting users from being able to send photos, videos or voice messages to other users they’re not connected to. 

Instagram DM screenshots against a colorful background.
Instagram

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/facebook-adds-parental-control-tools-to-messenger-090034344.html?src=rss

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