Most of us can understand the struggle of spending too much time on social media. ‘Just one more scroll,’ you say to yourself, and half an hour later you still haven’t moved. Not only does this habit suck up a lot of time, but it’s not the best for our brains either. That’s why the head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, has announced the arrival of new safety and well-being features to the app.
This week, Adam revealed Instagram will now have a ‘Take a Break’ feature, which will track how long you’re spending on the app. Once you opt-in to the feature, Instagram will ask you if you want to take a break from it after a certain amount of time – 10, 20 or 30 minutes, Adam explained in a post.
The company believes the ‘Take a Break’ option will ’empower people to make informed decisions about how they’re spending their time’. The feature will also suggest you set reminders to take more breaks from the app going forward.
Instagram’s ‘Take a Break’ option will be launching in the US, UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. So if this sounds like something you (or your kids) need, be sure to opt-in to it on the app. Facebook and Instagram actually launched time limit reminders back in 2018, but the new aspect of the feature is the prompt.
The social media giant is also introducing more safety measures for teenagers. ‘We’ll be taking a stricter approach to what we recommend to teens on the app, we’ll stop people from tagging or mentioning teens that don’t follow them, we’ll be nudging teens towards different topics if they’ve been dwelling on one topic for a long time,’ Adam said in a blog post.
The focus on the social media app’s safety comes after the Wall Street Journal published internal reports in September, that showed Facebook (Instagram’s parent company now known as Meta), had full knowledge of the harm it was causing young people.
What’s more, Instagram is making it easier for people to see and manage their activity on the app. For the first time, teenagers will be able to bulk delete content they’ve posted, as well as their previous likes and comments, in order to give them ‘an easier way to manage their digital footprint’.
Parents and guardians get more safety help, too. They’ll be able to view how much time their children spend on Instagram and set time limits. In March 2022, the company is hoping to launch a new educational hub to guide parents and guardians on how to discuss social media use with their teens.
Let’s hope we all do manage to ‘take a break’ from social media!