The new “quiet mode” feature that Instagram unveiled on Thursday aims to assist users in focusing and establish boundaries with friends and followers.
All notifications will be paused and the profile’s activity status will change to “In quiet mode” when the option is enabled. Instagram will send an auto-reply informing the sender that “quiet mode” has been activated if someone sends a direct message during this time.
Despite the fact that the feature is available to all users, Instagram appears to be targeting teens. Teens are being encouraged to activate the feature “when they spend a specific amount of time on Instagram late at night,” according to Instagram, which promotes it as a study aid.
The tool will be made available to users in the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and plans call for expanding its availability to additional nations in the future.
After years of scrutiny over how much time people, particularly teens, spend on various social media applications and the potential harms it can pose to their mental health, the tool is the latest example of Instagram providing users with additional ways to manage their usage.
In a blog post, the company stated, “These updates are part of our ongoing work to ensure people have experiences that work for them, and that they have more control over the time they spend online and the types of content they see.”
The platform is also introducing features to give users more control over what appears in their Explore feed as part of that effort. For instance, you can now mark content with the label “Not Interested” to prevent similar content from appearing in the future. Instagram is also adding the ability to prevent words, lists of words, emojis, or hashtags like #fitness or #recipes from being suggested in the Explore feed.
Additionally, Instagram is updating its parental control tools. Parents can be notified when a teen updates a setting so they can discuss it with their teen. Parents will also have access to the blocked accounts of their teen.
In 2021, executives from Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Snapchat were grilled by lawmakers in a series of hearings about how their platforms can lead younger users to harmful content, harm mental health and body image (especially among teenage girls), and lack sufficient parental controls and safeguards to protect teens.
Instagram, in particular, has made a lot of the changes that the social media companies promised to make. Since then, it has launched a tool that lets parents see how much time their children spend on Instagram and set time limits, as well as an educational hub for parents that contains resources, advice, and articles from experts on user safety.
Another Instagram feature suggested that users take a break from the app after a predetermined amount of time by suggesting that they take a deep breath, write something down, check their to-do list, or listen to a song. In addition, the company has stated that it will be taking a “stricter approach” to the content it recommends to teens and will actively nudge them away from certain topics, such as architecture and travel destinations, if they have been dwelling on any type of content for an excessive amount of time.
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