New Instagram features could help teens manage their time better

  • Instagram has announced a set of new features so that all users, but especially teens, can better manage their time on the app.
  • One of these updates includes Quiet Mode, where users can schedule times during the day when they won’t receive any notifications from the app.
  • The features have launched in the US, UK, Ireland, and New Zealand with a worldwide release expected soon.

Today Instagram says it is introducing “new ways” for users, especially teens, to manage their time and experiences.

The updates include a method to block notifications for a set period of time and a way for users to hide multiple pieces of content from the Explore page, which will influence recommendations going forward. Previously implemented tools are also getting updated.

Meta has long had to deal with controversy over the adverse effects its social media platforms have on younger users. A 2022 study from the University of Arkansas found that users of sites like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook have a significant risk of developing depressive symptoms with sustained use, and this risk becomes higher for younger users.

The Instagram team is clearly looking to assuage concerned users with the new updates, which include:

Quiet Mode on Instagram

A new in-app method to silence notifications from Instagram. Enabling this mode will also set your profile’s activity status to “In Quiet Mode.”

Instagram says that teen users have told Instagram that they were looking for more ways to focus at night, while studying or while at school. The schedule for Quiet mode can be customised so you can switch it on during school time and before bed time.

All users will be able to use Quiet mode, but the platform will apparently prompt teens specifically to make use of the feature.

New ways to manage recommendations

Users can now hide multiple pieces of content in “Explore” at once, right from the Explore page, without needing to click on each post individually.

The site says that once hidden, it will avoid showing users similar content going forward in Reels, Search and other places when it gives you recommendations.

Instagram has also updated its Hidden Words tool—which previously protected people from seeing scamy DM requests and comments—so that users can hide recommended posts with certain words, emojis, or hashtags in the caption. 

“These new features reflect our ongoing work to build things that are meaningful for young people, and that are really helpful and useful for creators,” says Instagram in a press release sent to Hypertext.

It adds that “these new features complement our existing tools that already help people manage their time and the content they see on Instagram.”

Existing tools include Take a Break, which helps remind people to take some time away from scrolling, Sensitive Content Controls which let users decide how much sensitive content they’d like to see presented in their feed, and nudges that encourage teens to switch to a different topic if they’re repeatedly looking at the same type of content on Explore.

As for availability, Mode has launched in the US, UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand today. Instagram says in an official blog post it hopes to bring these options to the rest of the world soon.

[Image – Provided]


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