Meta adds parental controls for Quest, Instagram

Meta is adding new parental control features for its Quest virtual reality headsets and updating control features in Instagram, the company announced Tuesday. 

A new Parent Dashboard for the Quest will give guardians more control over approving teenage users’ purchases and access to viewing Quest usage. In order for parents to link to their teen’s account, the teen must initiate the process and both the parent and teen have to agree, according to the announcement. 

The tools will give guardians the ability to approve downloads or purchases of apps that are blocked by default based on age rating. Teens 13 and older will also be able to submit an “Ask to Buy” request that parents can approve or deny from the Oculus mobile app. 

The new controls will also let guardians block specific apps, view all the apps their teen owns and receive “purchase notifications” that alert them to new purchases. 

The feature will also let guardians view the headset screen time from the Oculus mobile app, view their teen’s list of Oculus friends and block “Link” and “Air Link” to prevent their teen from accessing content from their PC on their Quest headset. 

On Instagram, guardians will now be able to send invitations to their teens to initiate supervision tools. In the past, only teens could send the invitations. 

The expanded supervision tools let guardians set specific times during the day or week when they would like to limit their teen’s use of Instagram. 

With the update, guardians will also have access to more information about when their teen reports an account or post, including who was reported and the type of report. 

For users who already have supervision set up on Instagram in the U.S., the updates are now available. The tools will expand this month to the United Kingdom, Japan, Australia, Ireland, Canada, France and Germany, and Meta plans to roll the features out globally before the end of the year, according to the announcement. 

Instagram will also roll out “nudges” for teen users on Instagram. The nudge notification will encourage them to switch to a different topic if they have repeatedly been looking at the same type of content on the explore page. 

The nudge will exclude certain topics that may be associated with appearance comparison. 

Author: Rebecca Klar