Instagram wants you to take a break, kinda

Instagram announced a new feature called “Take a Break” that encourages users to step away from the app after using it for 10, 20, or 30 minutes straight.

Source: Getty Images/NurPhoto

It was only a few years ago that Instagram was bragging about how much time users spend on the app. Now, it’s launching a feature to help users step away.

“Take a Break” lets users schedule in-app reminders that encourage a timeout after 10, 20, and 30 minutes of continuous use, per TechCrunch.

The announcement follows some serious bad press

Last month, leaked documents revealed Facebook knew Instagram had toxic effects on teenage girls, but downplayed the issue. Shortly after, it paused development on Instagram Kids, a childcentric version of the app.

Instagram isn’t the first social media platform to add features to curb addictive usage for kids:

  • TikTok inserts videos into users’ feeds encouraging a break when they’ve been scrolling for too long
  • Douyin, TikTok’s Chinese counterpart, recently launched mandatory 5-second pauses between videos to curb addictive usage
  • YouTube has an entire app called YouTube Kids, where parents can set controls around screen time

Critics are skeptical Instagram actually cares

“Take a Break” is an opt-in feature, which means users have to manually set it up. Critics argue making it a default setting would prove Instagram is serious about curbing addictive behavior.

While the feature may not be perfect, we’ll know it’s working when Instagram brass starts bragging about how many users aren’t using the platform.

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