Meta extends parental control tools for Instagram and in VR

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Last December, Meta announced that it will introduce new parental controls on its social networking products. The first set of those parental control tools launched in March 2022, allowing parents to see how much time their teens spend on the social network, set time limits, and get notified when their teen reports someone.Today, Meta has announced on its blog that the company is releasing its second batch of parental control tools, this time for both Instagram and VR. Instagram already has a lot of options in the parent dashboard, but with the new features, parents can:

  • Send invitations to their teens to start monitoring tools. Initially, only teens could send invitations.
  • Set specific times during the day or week when they want to limit their teens’ use of Instagram.
  • See more information when their teen reports an account or message, including who was reported and the type of report.

There are also new options for Quest VR in the parent dashboard. Parents and guardians can:

  • Approve the download or purchase of an app by their teen that is blocked by default based on the IARC rating.
  • Teens 13+ can submit a ‘Ask to Buy’ request, which triggers a notification to their parents.
  • The parent can then approve or deny the request from within the Oculus mobile app.
  • Block specific apps that may be inappropriate for their teen, preventing the teen from launching those apps. Apps that can be blocked include apps such as web browsers and apps available in the Quest Store.
  • See all the apps their teen owns.
  • Receive ‘purchase notifications’ so they are notified when their teen makes a purchase in VR.
  • View headset screen time through the Oculus mobile app so they know how much time their teen is spending in VR.
  • Check out their teen’s list of Oculus friends.
  • Block Link and Air Link to prevent their teen from accessing content from their PC on their Quest headset.

It’s worth noting that in order for parents to take control of their little ones, they must link both accounts together – a process that requires approval from both the parent and the teen. We see a lot of potential for thrills at home with these new features, but in the end it could save our kids a lot of trouble, so it might be worth it. It comes down to negotiation skills and positive reinforcement.

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