The news: Instagram announced new tools Tuesday aimed at keeping teenagers on the platform safe, including parental controls and restrictions on public-facing teen accounts.
How we got here: The tools are likely a response to the scathing “Facebook Files” exposé published by The Wall Street Journal in September, which included a report showing Instagram executives were aware of the platform’s damaging effects on teen girls’ mental health.
What this means: Though the tools are a positive step, they will likely do little to reverse reputational damage from the Facebook Files, which was the icing on top of an already-falling growth rate among teen users.
The catch-22: Parents and lawmakers may feel these tools are needed to protect teens’ online privacy and mental health, but adding more limitations could make the platform even less appealing for the very users Instagram wants to attract.
Key takeaway: Instagram’s privacy tools for teens are an attempt to claw back some of its reputation—and users—after the disastrous Facebook Files were released. But teen users were already on the way out in favor of younger competitors like Snapchat and TikTok, and the new tools likely won’t be enough to reverse that trend.
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