Emma Robertson, from Vodafone Digital Parenting partner Digital Awareness UK, runs through Meta's updates to their messaging and social media apps.
This week we attended a wellbeing event at Meta, where they announced a suite of new parental controls tools now available on their messaging app Messenger (still commonly known as Facebook Messenger) and their photo and video sharing app Instagram.
At Digital Awareness UK we’ve noticed a real shift in parents’ attitudes towards parental controls in recent months. As headlines around issues such as online misogyny continue to dominate the news, parents are increasingly looking for solutions around how to use these tools to help protect their children from the nasty stuff.
As parental controls can get a bit confusing (which is why we created Digital Parenting Pro to help parents make sense of it all), so we’ll break down the most important information you need to know in this article.
On this messaging app, parents and guardians can now access ‘supervision tools’. These are basically parental controls that parents can access only if both the parent and child (a user aged under 18) agree to it. Supervision is already available on Instagram. On Messenger, it will allow parents to:
- view how much time their child spends on Messenger
- view and receive updates on their child’s Messenger contacts list, as well as their privacy and safety settings
- get notified if their child reports someone (only if the child chooses to share that information)
- view who can message their child (that is, only their friends, friends of friends, or no-one) and see if their child changes this setting
- view who can see their child’s Messenger stories and get notified if these settings change.