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Meta Launches “Take a Break” Feature for Instagram

Story written by Ashley Henry Shook

Dec 10, 2021

Meta, the parent company of Instagram, announced new tools and features to keep young people even safer on the app and support parents’ online safety efforts as well.

To protect teens the new actions include:

  • Launching the “Take A Break” feature in the US, UK, Canada and Australia;

  • Taking a stricter approach to what we recommend to teens on the app;

  • Stopping people from tagging or mentioning teens that don’t follow them; and

  • Nudging teens towards different topics if they’ve been dwelling on one topic for a long time.

Take A Break for Instagram

How it works – If someone has been scrolling for a certain amount of time, we’ll ask them to take a break from Instagram and suggest that they set reminders to take more breaks in the future. We’ll also show them expert-backed tips to help them reflect and reset.

Anne Collier at The Net Safety Collaborative said, “I love ‘Take a Break’ because it gives young users better control over their experiences on Instagram. Because we know that agency – the power to make choices and take action – is vital to adolescent wellbeing and mental health.”

Meta also announced a series of steps launching in March to support parents as they seek to make their teens’ online experience more safe.

  • Parents and guardians will be able to view how much time their teens spend on Instagram and set time limits.

  • Instagram will also give teens a new option to notify their parents if they report someone, giving parents the opportunity to talk about it with them.

  • A new educational hub for parents and guardians that will include resources, like product tutorials and tips from experts, to help them discuss social media use with their teens.

Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri said, “We’re proud that our platform is a place where teens can spend time with the people they care about, explore their interests, and explore who they are. To ensure it stays that way we’ll continue doing research, consulting with experts, and testing new concepts to better serve teens and, most importantly, keep them safe.”

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