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Instagram a testing a feature that prompts you do anything but use its app

With social networks under increased scrutiny, this new feature would actually encourage you to log off.

instagram take a break feature
Image: KnowTechie

Big fan of doomscrolling? Just love looking at pretty pictures in an effort to stave off the existential dread? Love to engage? If you answered yes to any (or all) of these things, then you probably sometimes need a gentle reminder to log off for a bit. That’s where Instagram’s Take a Break feature comes into play.

First revealed last month, Instagram is now rolling out the test to a small number of users, according to CEO Adam Mosseri, in an Instagram post. It will work similarly to TikTok’s gentle reminds to stop scrolling, but users will have control over the messaging.

For example, the entire thing is opt-in and not on by default, and you can even set the time limits for yourself before you get a gentle reminder. While it doesn’t directly tell you to go outside and touch grass, it does offer suggestions from “third-party experts.”

Overall, this addition from the social company is a safe, easy update it can implement to make itself look better.

With social networks like Facebook and Instagram under increased scrutiny right now (for valid reasons), this gives the company something it can fall back on when critics and activist groups put them under the microscope.

That’s not to say that this specific feature is bad. Personally, TikTok reminding me to take a break has been a good thing for me and shamed me into doing something more productive (or simply going to bed) and there’s no reason to think Instagram’s offering will be any different.

Currently, the testing is rolling out to a small percentage of users, but if tests are successful, expect to see this coming later this year in December.

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