Instagram is making more changes to ad experiences for teens as part of an ongoing bid by the Meta-owned company to stop harming young people.
The platform said in a post that it will further restrict advertisers’ options for reaching teens, ads served by teens, and more “teen-specific controls and resources.” Young people’s engagement, like the people they follow and the posts they like, won’t inform the types of ads they see. In February, Instagram will remove gender as an option for advertisers to reach teenagers.
Advertisers will also only be able to use age and location to reach teens, which Instagram says helps the platform “ensure teens see ads that are age-appropriate and relevant to products and services.” available where they live”. In March, teens will also have more ways to manage the ads they see by going to their ad preferences and choosing “Show Less” or “No Preference.”
It comes a year after the the wall street journal‘s Facebook Files, in which leaked documents from Facebook’s own research found that “Instagram is harmful to a significant percentage of [teens]especially teenage girls.”
There is indeed an ongoing epidemic among young people: According to the Centers for Disaster Control and Preventionafter a stable period from 2000 to 2007, the suicide rate among 10 to 24 year olds increased by 56% from 2007 to 2017. Suicide is now the second leading cause of death in the age group, after accidents.
Although not the only potential factor, some experts attribute part of the rise in youth suicide to social media. Instagram was launched in 2010 and, according to the Pew Research Centernearly twice as many teens said they used the internet “almost constantly” in 2018 than in 2014.
Attorneys general from 10 states are investigating The Effects of Instagram on Teenagersand it is only in the United States — the The European Union has already fined Meta several million euros for allegedly mismanaging young people’s privacy settings.
All the while, Instagram is hard to compete with other apps young people consume more, as Snapchat or ICT Tac.
If you are feeling suicidal or experiencing a mental health crisis, please tell someone. You can reach the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline on 988; the Trans Lifeline at 877-565-8860; or the Trevor Project at 866-488-7386. Text “START” to Crisis Text Line at 741-741. Contact the NAMI Helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI, Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. ET, or by email [email protected]. If you don’t like the phone, consider using the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline Chat at crisischat.org. here is a list of international resources.