Meta Platforms Inc.’s photo-sharing app Instagram is encouraging users to take a break as the company battles accusations that too much time spent on its social networks hurts the mental well-being of teenagers.
Instagram will let people opt to see pop-up messages when they have spent a lot of time looking at a particular topic, suggesting they explore other subjects. Users also can decide to be nudged to take a break after they have spent 10, 20 or 30 consecutive minutes on the app, Instagram said Tuesday in a blog post. The platform will then remind users about alternative activities to social media such as going for a walk or taking a series of deep breaths, Instagram head of well-being and safety Vaishnavi J said in an interview.
“When you’ve been spending a long period of time — 20 minutes for example being a fairly long period of time — it is very valuable for you to then get a little notification reminding you to take a break,” she said. “You may not feel like you’ve been spending that much time on the app because you’ve been doing five or six different things in those 20 minutes.”
Instagram head Adam Mosseri is scheduled to appear Wednesday before a U.S. Senate subcommittee probing childrens’ safety on social media. Instagram has been under mounting scrutiny over its effects on young users after a Wall Street Journal series earlier this year and other stories from a consortium of media organizations based on internal documents disclosed by Facebook whistle-blower Frances Haugen. Some of the documents surfaced new revelations about Instagram’s impact on teenagers’ body image, sleep and anxiety.... Read More: Bloomberg