Instagram tests greater controls over stories  

  • Instagram is testing a new feature that will allow users to select profiles that can view with stories. 
  • The function is being tested in Brazil and is similar to the platform’s existing ‘close friends’ feature.   
  • The ‘close friends’ feature only allowed users to share stories with the same list of friends, and there was no option to edit the list. 
  • The new ‘selected friends’ feature will allow users to add, remove or keep followers on lists for different stories.  
  • To learn more about staying safe on Instagram, check out our safety card here.  
  • You can read the full story, here

Facebook announces cross-app group chats

  • Facebook has announced new features for Messenger and Instagram Direct. 
  • The main addition is the ability to start group chats between Instagram and Facebook Messenger contacts. 
  • The option to chat across the two apps has been available to individuals since last year. 
  • However, users will be able to see when multiple people are typing, which is said to increase ‘discussion buzz’ in active chats.
  • There will also be additional features like polls, watch together and chat themes. 
  • This comes at a time when Facebook is moving toward integrating its messaging services.
  • You can read the full story, here

Disordered eating among 11-16 doubles according to new research  

  • New research shows that the proportion of older children who experience disordered eating has almost doubled in four years.  
  • A survey by NHS Digital suggested that 13% of 11-16-year-olds raised concerns about their eating compared with just 7% in 2017. 
  • The amount of 17-19-year-olds with possible disordered eating also rose from 45% in 2017 to 58% in 2021. 
  • The report also found that 40% of 6 to 16-year-olds and half of 17 to 23-year-olds said they felt their mental health had got worse over that time.
  • Mental health charity Young Minds said the research was “a stark warning” that the increase in children with probable mental disorders last year appeared to be “here to stay, unless swift government action is taken”.
  • To understand more about the relationship between social media and eating disorders, read our article here
  • You can read the full story, here

Northampton Police warn about rise in ‘sextortion’ cases

  • Northamptonshire Police have issued a warning against sending intimate photos to  people users have just met online.  
  • So-called ‘sextortion’ refers to sexual extortion, which is when someone is encouraged or tricked into sending intimate images and then threatened with their release unless they send money.
  • Over the past three months the force received an average of almost four ‘sextortion’ cases every week, but indicated cases are likely to be higher due to underreporting
  • The police said victims under 18 should be encouraged to talk to a trusted adult and seek support via CEOP (Child Exploitation Online Protection).
  • To learn more about how sexual extortion can happen on dating apps, read our article here
  • You can read the full story, here