If you’ve been scrolling on Instagram for too long, you’ll get “take a break” notifications starting today. The prompt is part of a suite of tools being rolled out by Instagram, which is owned by Facebook parent company Meta, to keep teens safer and healthier online.
Teens, in particular, will receive notifications to enable those reminders so that they are aware of the function. They’ll also get expert-backed advice on how to “reflect and reset.”
The announcement came just a day before Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri is scheduled to testify before Congress about the company’s impact on young people, after former Facebook employee Frances Haugen leaked internal company research suggesting that Instagram harms the mental health of young women and girls. Policymakers have chastised Facebook for neglecting to reveal its results regarding teenagers, but Facebook has responded by claiming that the study was taken out of context.
“It’s unlikely that any single piece of material will make you feel happy, awful, or negative about yourself”, said Adam
Instagram will more carefully regulate the posts and profiles it recommends to users under the age of 18, making it less likely that they would come across “sensitive” content. The business has also began testing “nudges,” which are alerts that push users to look into other topics if they appear to be falling down a “rabbit hole.”
Key features of ‘Take a Break’:
Another test feature will build on what Instagram began earlier this year by preventing adults from DMing kids who do not follow them.
Instagram is introducing a feature for teenagers and young adults who wish to delete their Instagram activity from when they were much younger.
The business is also creating a “educational portal” for parents, complete with lessons on how to use Instagram and advice on how to address social media with their kids.