Meta Introduces Safety Measures for Teens on Instagram and Facebook: Stop Letting Strangers Send DMs

| Updated on January 30, 2024

Meta continues to roll out updates for its platforms in an attempt to bolster its safety and privacy for younger users. 

One of the dangers of allowing teens on social media is that random strangers can reach them through DMs. The parent company of Facebook and Instagram, Meta, is changing that.

The tech giant announced stricter message settings for teens on Instagram and Facebook. They are taking additional steps to protect teens from unwanted contact. In essence, this new setting will apply to teens who use supervised accounts and will prevent anyone they’re not following or connected to, including other teens, from messaging them directly. This new setting is now turned on by default. 

Instagram Messages

This change will apply to teens below 16 or 18 in some countries automatically to existing accounts as well. When this feature is enabled in your region, users will get a notification at the top of their feed to let them know about it. 

There was a lot of pressure on Meta to better the privacy and security of teens. They have been at for quite some time, including adding a parental supervision hub and some updates to privacy settings. 

The company is also working on a feature to protect teens from encountering inappropriate images from existing connections and to discourage them from sending these types of images themselves. We can expect this feature to roll out later this year. 

The changes to the DMs are already live, just update your apps and you should see a notification on top of your feed.

Parents can visit Meta Family Center to learn about the 30+ tools and features available to support teens and families. 

Himanshu Kumar

Tech and Software Writer

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