Instagram Introduces New Features for Underage Users

Including a Take a Break tool

Instagram announced new features and tools geared towards making the platform safer for teen users on Tuesday. 

The social media network said it's taking a stricter approach with teens, especially regarding what it recommends to younger users, what kind of topics teens are focusing on, and how long teens spend on the platform. In the announcement, Instagram CEO Adam Grossi said the company is "doing research, consulting with experts, and testing new concepts to better serve teens."

Take a Break tool


Some of the new tools aimed at teens include the ability to bulk delete content (including photos, likes, and comments) and the ability to switch off people tagging or mentioning teens who don't follow them. In addition, Instagram said it's testing a new experience that will nudge people toward other topics if they've been dwelling on one particular topic for a while. 

Instagram also announced wider availability of the Take a Break feature that reminds users to take a break from scrolling every once in a while. The feature was initially announced as a test only last month but officially began rolling out to the US, the UK, Ireland, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia on Tuesday. The platform said that based on initial tests of the Take a Break feature, more than 90% of teen users kept the break reminders on. 

Finally, Grossi detailed a new educational hub for parents and guardians that would go live in March. 

Closeup view of someone scrolling through images on Instagram using a smartphone.

Kate Torline / Unsplash

"Parents and guardians will be able to view how much time their teens spend on Instagram and set time limits. We'll also give teens a new option to notify their parents if they report someone, giving their parents the opportunity to talk about it with them," he said in the announcement. "This is the first version of these tools; we'll continue to add more options over time."

Instagram has been prioritizing and protecting younger users on the platform this year. For example, in July, the platform said it would now automatically default any new user under the age of 16 to a private account, in addition to limiting the options advertisers have to reach young people with ads. 

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