Instagram pulls Default Content Settings for Teens

Current teenage users below 16 years old will be inspired to change their content settings. Instagram revealed the platform is rolling out a feature that defaults accounts for new users below 16 years old to “Less,” the many restrictive environments for Sensitive Content Control.

Teenagers already on Instagram will bring push notifications “encouraging” them to opt-in to the heavier filtering on what the algorithm leads them across Hashtag Pages, Reels, Search, Explore, Feed Recommendations, and Suggested Accounts.

The “Standard” setting in Instagram only allows users to see some content deemed sensitive. At the same time, the “Less” option tightens the restrictions further, and the “More” option allows users to catch more sensitive content or accounts than the default settings. In addition, while users over 18 years old typically have the key to “Standard,” “Less,” and “More,” teenagers nowadays only have access to “Standard” and “Less.”

In June, Instagram first oriented its “Less” option. A week later, it started rolling out a feature in the US and other nations to indicate that teenage users glance at other content if they expend too much time on one particular topic and topics tied to appearance comparison.

Instagram is also experimenting with prompts for teens that offer to limit who can interact with their content. The test will request them to review privacy and security settings related to who can reshare their content, who can message them, the sort of content they can see, and time management.

The “Sensitive Content Control” feature was projected on Instagram in July 2021. The filter was supposed to maintain users from seeing potentially harmful and “inappropriate” material suggested to them on the Explore page. However, as Meta / Instagram ramps up recommended content in response to the rise of TikTok, the tuning involved in the algorithm has become more impactful.

The feature was completed with backlash from many people in the art globe, sex workers, tattoo artists, and the cannabis initiative since they could be excluded from the recommendations feed if their accounts or content were flagged. In the Help Center, Instagram defines what it sees as sensitive content, including posts with depictions of violence or sexually explicit or suggestive, enabling regulated products and substances, etc.

Instagram has recently presented other features on Instagram that cater to providing a secure experience. In March, parental controls arrived on the platform that allows parents and guardians to monitor what their child does on Instagram, including how much time they spend on the app.

The Sensitive Content Control has only two choices for teens: “Standard” and “Less.” Renewed teens on Instagram under 16 years old will default into the “Less” state. For teens already on Instagram, we will dispatch a prompt motivating them to select the “Less” experience.

It will make it more difficult for young people to come across potentially susceptible content or accounts in Hashtag Pages, Reels, Feed Recommendations, and Suggested Accounts.

In addition, we are stretching a new way to encourage teens to update their safety and privacy settings. We’ll suggest prompts asking teens to review their environments, including managing who can reshare their content, who can message and reach them, what content they can detect and how they can handle their time spent on Instagram.

We’re continuously developing commands to help people personalize their experiences on Instagram. For example, last summer, we launched the Sensitive Content Control so people could determine how much or how little sensitive content to witness in Explore from accounts they don’t follow. Today, we’re announcing updates to this regime.

Starting today, the Sensitive Content Control will shield all surfaces where we make suggestions. In addition, to Explore, you will currently be able to handle the amount of sensitive content and accounts you witness in Search, Reels, Accounts You Might Follow, Hashtag Pages, and In-Feed Recommendations. With this update, we also involve the technology we use to enforce our Recommendation Guidelines to Instagram’s suggestions on Search and Hashtag pages. This update will be unrestricted to everyone in the forthcoming weeks.

The Sensitive Content Control has three alternatives, which we’ve renamed from when we first introduced the control to help explain each option. The three options are: “More,” “Standard,” and “Less.”

“Standard” is the default state and will discourage people from visiting some sensitive content and accounts. “More” enables people to see more sensitive content and reports, whereas “Less” means they call less of this content than the default state. For people below 18, the “More” option is unavailable.