*The following is excerpted from an online article posted on TechCrunch.
Earlier this year, TikTok made an update to its privacy settings and defaults to further lock down the app for its teenage users. Now, Instagram followed suit with teen-focused privacy updates of its own. But the Facebook-owned social app didn’t choose to add more privacy to teen accounts by default, as TikTok did — it largely made it more difficult for adults to interact with the app’s teen users.
The company said it’s rolling out new safety features that would restrict adult users from being able to contact teens who didn’t already follow them. The exception to this rule would still allow the teen to interact with adult family members and other trusted adults on the platform, like family friends. In the case that an adult tried to DM a teen who didn’t follow them, they’d receive a notification informing them this wasn’t possible.
And if the teen has already connected with an adult and is DM’ing with them, they’ll be notified if that adult is exhibiting suspicious behavior — like sending a large number of friend requests or messages to users under 18. This tool will also then allow the teen to end the conversation, block, report, or restrict the adult from further contact.
In addition, Instagram said it will make it more difficult for adults to find and follow teens in other places within the Instagram app.