Instagram says: "Take a Break"
Updated: Mar 6
On Tuesday, Instagram introduced a new feature designed to encourage users to stop scrolling and take a step back from the social media app. The "Take a Break" feature is set to be officially available in the United States, Canada, and Australia in September 2022 and will become available to other users over the next few months.
Users will be able to enable the feature by visiting the Settings page in their user profile and choosing whether they would like to be notified after 10, 20, or 30 minutes of using the app.
After the approved time, the app will display a prompt letting users know that it's time to quit the app, though the responsibility still lies with the user to close the app instead of just dismissing the message.
This feature, along with other tools being released, is a response to a whistleblower account that Instagram knew about its potential harm to young users and Adam Mosseri (Head of Instagram) testified before the Subcommittee of Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Data Security about what the company is doing about those concerns. (Read a transcript of that Senate panel hearing here.)
"I'm proud that our platform is a place where teens can spend time with the people they care about, explore their interests, and explore who they are," Mosseri wrote in a blog post on Tuesday announcing the new features. "I want to make sure that it stays that way, which means above all keeping them safe on Instagram. We'll continue doing research, consulting with experts, and testing new concepts to better serve teens."
Instagram is one of many social media sites that will have to find a balance to keep young users safe while also competing with other popular apps.