Instagram is testing a new “Rest” feature to encourage users to limit in-app time

Instagram is testing a new user well-being option called ‘Take a Break’, which will allow users to set reminders to take some time off the app after a certain period of activity – 10, 20 or 30 minutes.

Here’s a preview of Adam Mosseri’s friendly slot machine option:

As you can see here, the new option, which some users will be asked to activate from their feed, allows you to select a time period for the reminder to pause the app, which will then suggest alternative activities you can do to escape for a moment.

Which could lead more users to be more aware of their engagement on Instagram, and at the very least, serve as a slight pressure to switch off from time to time, instead of being dragged into rabbit content holes and / or mindless browsing for hours.

The feature is based on various Meta well-being tools, and Facebook and Instagram already offer time limit reminders to better manage your time in each app, while Facebook also has a ‘Rest’ option to mute individual users whose posts start appearing. on your nerves.

Facebook also introduced ‘Quiet Mode ‘last year, which excludes notifications, providing another way to separate time from the app.

Facebook silent mode

Meta spokesman Nick Clegg last month highlighted the upcoming ‘Take a Break’ option for Instagram for the first time last month, in an interview about the app’s negative impact on teens, revealed as part of a recent ‘Facebook Files’ leak. In response to concerns, Clegg noted that Instagram will add a ‘Rest’ option, focusing specifically on young users, while also saying the app will introduce new instructions for ‘push teenagers away from potentially harmful ones content.

We will introduce something that I think will make a significant difference, and that is where our systems see a teenager watching the same content over and over and that it is content that may not be suitable for their well-being, we will encourage them to look at other content.

Combined, the tools provide more capacity for Instagram users to manage their time in the app – although as noted, both Facebook and Instagram have time limit reminders from 2018, so it functionally adds nothing but maybe some new queries. on such an in-stream.

Facebook time spent in applications

Which then raises the question of how much real value the new option will provide. If users can already do that, then the real incentive should be how to get people to take such action, which maybe these new push notifications will do as well. But really, Instagram can’t stop you from using the app for as long as you want, and many users won’t voluntarily limit their time.

So, will it really be effective? It’s hard to see that this greatly adds to the process, although any updates that can help improve well-being are worth testing.

But perhaps this is more valuable as a PR exercise, in response to claims that Instagram can be harmful to users.

Meta gives users tools to better manage the team, but cannot be held responsible for dictating your time. You either choose to set limits or not.

We’ll see how many people actually turn on the new alerts.

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Naveen Kumar

Friendly communicator. Music maven. Explorer. Pop culture trailblazer. Social media practitioner.

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