Instagram has officially launched its “Take a Break” tool, which will encourage users to spend some time away from the platform after they’ve been scrolling for a certain period. The feature, announced in September, will first come to users in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia, and to all users in the months ahead.
Users can turn on the feature in “Settings” and select if they want to be alerted after using the platform for 10 minutes, 20 minutes or 30 minutes. They’ll then get a full-screen alert telling them to close out of the app, suggesting they take a deep breath, write something down, check a to-do list or listen to a song.
Instagram also said it will take a “stricter approach” to what content it recommends to teenagers and actively nudge them towards different topics if they’ve been dwelling on something — any type of content — for too long.
The issue of social media’s impact on teens gained renewed attention this fall after whistleblower Frances Haugen leaked hundreds of internal documents, some of which showed the company knew how Instagram can damage mental health and body image, especially among teenage girls.
Meta, formerly Facebook has repeatedly tried to discredit Haugen and said her testimony in Congress and reports on the documents mischaracterize the company’s actions. But the outcry from Haugen’s disclosures pressured the company to rethink the launch of an Instagram app for children under 13.
By: Elisha Aberiganya | Follow us on Twitter @activtvgh