Instagram is stepping up its safety measures and will introduce the app’s first set of parental controls in March.
The announcement was made by Instagram head Adam Mosseri in a blog post on Tuesday and comes a day before Mosseri is expected to appear before a Senate committee on Dec. 8 to answer questions related to the negative effect the Meta-owned app may have on teens and younger children.
The new safety features will allow parents to see and limit the amount of time their child spends on the app. Teens will also be “nudged” towards different topics if they’ve spent a lot of time on one particular topic, and users will no longer be able to tag or mention teens or kids who don’t follow them.
“Every day I see the positive impact that Instagram has for young people everywhere,” Mosseri wrote in the post. “I’m 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.”
Mosseri further elaborated on these claims in a video posted on his Instagram.
“There’s an important discussion happening right now about keeping young people safe online,” he wrote in the video’s caption. “I’ve been thinking a lot about how Instagram shows up, and I’m looking forward to sharing more of the work we’re doing in the weeks ahead.”
Instagram has been under monumental pressure to reform its policies ever since former Facebook product manager Frances Haugen leaked documents in October that showcased IG’s awareness of how the app exploits teen girls’ insecurities.
Some lawmakers see the new safety measures as too little too late. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee told the New York Times the app “is attempting to shift attention from their mistakes by rolling out parental guides, use timers and content control features that consumers should have had all along,” but she added that her “colleagues and I see right through what they are doing.”