Instagram's Take a Break feature tells users to take a breather - Social Media Explorer
Instagram’s Take a Break feature tells users to take a breather
Instagram’s Take a Break feature tells users to take a breather
The Take a Break feature, designed to encourage scrollers to stop scrolling, was introduced by the company on Tuesday. In September, users will be able to access the feature in their home countries of the United States, Canada, Australia and Canada. It will also become available to other users over the next few months.

You can enable the feature by going to Settings and choosing whether you want to be notified after using the platform 10 mins, 20 mins or 30 minuts. The app will then display a prompt telling users to quit the app.

SME Business reviewed the feature prior to launch. It’s an improvement, but it is still a first step. Users must only stay on the platform one time. The timer will reset if the app crashes while you go to the toilet or the screen goes blank while you browse Netflix. Once the prompt has encouraged a short break, the responsibility lies with the user not to hit “Done” to close the message and return to the app.

Vaishnavi J is the Instagram head for safety and well-being. She said that it’s still early in development and would be expanded in 2022.

Instagram also said it will take a “stricter approach” to what content it recommends to teenagers and actively nudge them toward different topics if they’ve been dwelling on something — any type of content — for too long. Although Instagram promised to share more details about the feature shortly, SME Business received a screenshot ahead of the announcement. It revealed that the focus will shift from travel destinations and architecture to nature photography. Next year, the feature will be available.

This feature builds on Instagram’s already-existing time management tools. It lets you know when your daily Instagram time is up. It is currently testing an alternative way that allows users to organize their Instagram activity. Users can bulk delete images and videos and view comments and likes from the past.

In Tuesday’s blog, Adam Mosseri (head of Instagram) wrote that while the tool was available for everyone, it is especially important to teens in order to better understand their Instagram information, to make sure they are visible to other users, and have a simpler way to manage their digital footprint.

A hub of educational tips for parents is being developed by the company. It will provide information and tools to allow them to discuss their teenagers’ use of social media with them.

Frances Haugen, a Facebook whistleblower, leaked hundreds upon scores of documents from within the company. Some of these documents showed how Instagram could harm mental health and body images, particularly among teens.
Facebook tried repeatedly to discredit Haugen’s testimony and claimed that the report and her testimony at Congress mischaracterize their actions. However, the backlash from Haugen’s disclosures forced Facebook to reconsider its launch of Instagram for children younger than 13.

These disclosures led to a series of hearings in Congress about the impact tech products have on kids. They featured executives from Snapchat, TikTok, and Facebook. As lawmakers examine the impact of Snapchat’s app on mental health among young people, Mosseri will be appearing before a Senate subcommittee.

The rare bipartisanship displayed by Congress members in criticizing tech firms on this issue has made them stand out. Some lawmakers are now pushing for legislation intended to increase children’s privacy online and reduce the apparent addictiveness of various platforms — though it remains unclear when or if such legislation will pass.

TikTok launched new features last year to allow users to keep track of their screen time. These include videos from the top creators, which appear in users’ feeds, to inspire users to get up and actually do something.

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About the Author

Adam is an owner at Nanohydr8. He really loves comedy and satire, and the written word in general.

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