Skip to main content

Instagram and Messenger get more parental supervision tools

Meta is releasing additional tools for parents and guardians who want to know more about how their children are interacting with apps like Instagram, Messenger, and Facebook.

Messenger for Kids already includes a lot of similar features, but this latest update is for parents of teens who use Messenger.

One of the new features offers parents to view the amount of time their teen is spending on Messenger and the information on their teen’s message settings. However, Meta noted that parents will be unable to view the content of their child’s messages.

The new set of supervision tools will also let parents view and receive updates regarding changes to their teen’s Messenger contacts list, and also their privacy and safety settings.

They’ll also get notified if their teen reports someone via the app, though only if they opt to share such information.

Additionally, parents can also see who is allowed to message their child (friends, friends of friends, or no one), and also view who can see their teen’s Messenger stories, and receive a notification if the setting changes.

The Parental Supervision feature for Messenger is available in the U.S., U.K., and Canada now, with more countries promised access in the coming months.

New features for Parental Supervision on Instagram include ways to encourage teens to allow their parents to supervise their account “as an extra layer of support.”

Besides seeing which accounts their teen follows and is followed by, parents can now see how many friends their teen has in common with those accounts, which Meta said could pave the way for offline conversations regarding those connections.

Meta is also launching new ways to protect people on Instagram from unwanted interactions via Direct Messages.

It means that before a person can message someone who doesn’t follow them, they now have to send a text-only invitation to get their permission to communicate.

Instagram already shows a safety notice when it detects a suspicious adult messaging a teen, and it is also supposed to prevent people over 19 years old from sending private messages to teens who don’t follow them.

Meta said the updates are “designed to help teens feel in control of their online experiences and help parents feel equipped to support their teens,” adding that it plans to add more safety features over time.

If you’re a parent or guardian interested in other supervision software for PC, Mac, iOS, and Android, Digital Trends has you covered.

Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
How to make a GIF from a YouTube video
woman sitting and using laptop

Sometimes, whether you're chatting with friends or posting on social media, words just aren't enough -- you need a GIF to fully convey your feelings. If there's a moment from a YouTube video that you want to snip into a GIF, the good news is that you don't need complex software to so it. There are now a bunch of ways to make a GIF from a YouTube video right in your browser.

If you want to use desktop software like Photoshop to make a GIF, then you'll need to download the YouTube video first before you can start making a GIF. However, if you don't want to go through that bother then there are several ways you can make a GIF right in your browser, without the need to download anything. That's ideal if you're working with a low-specced laptop or on a phone, as all the processing to make the GIF is done in the cloud rather than on your machine. With these options you can make quick and fun GIFs from YouTube videos in just a few minutes.
Use GIFs.com for great customization
Step 1: Find the YouTube video that you want to turn into a GIF (perhaps a NASA archive?) and copy its URL.

Read more
I paid Meta to ‘verify’ me — here’s what actually happened
An Instagram profile on an iPhone.

In the fall of 2023 I decided to do a little experiment in the height of the “blue check” hysteria. Twitter had shifted from verifying accounts based (more or less) on merit or importance and instead would let users pay for a blue checkmark. That obviously went (and still goes) badly. Meanwhile, Meta opened its own verification service earlier in the year, called Meta Verified.

Mostly aimed at “creators,” Meta Verified costs $15 a month and helps you “establish your account authenticity and help[s] your community know it’s the real us with a verified badge." It also gives you “proactive account protection” to help fight impersonation by (in part) requiring you to use two-factor authentication. You’ll also get direct account support “from a real person,” and exclusive features like stickers and stars.

Read more
Here’s how to delete your YouTube account on any device
How to delete your YouTube account

Wanting to get out of the YouTube business? If you want to delete your YouTube account, all you need to do is go to your YouTube Studio page, go to the Advanced Settings, and follow the section that will guide you to permanently delete your account. If you need help with these steps, or want to do so on a platform that isn't your computer, you can follow the steps below.

Note that the following steps will delete your YouTube channel, not your associated Google account.

Read more