Get in Touch

    August 24, 2022
    Instagram Adds New Tools to Support Teens
    [Screenshots by Instagram]


    Instagram is taking steps to curb overuse and comparison on the app. Amidst a rise in mental health concerns among teens, the platform recently implemented updates to promote healthier social media habits. The features, geared towards younger audiences, will give teen users gentle reminders to encourage mindful scrolling and social media use. Should users spend too much time scrolling through and hyper-focusing on a particular topic, Instagram’s “nudge” feature will prompt them to change the subject, providing alternative categories of posts and images¹. For those who spend too much consecutive time on the app, Instagram will ask that they take a break from scrolling.


     The platform hasn’t forgotten about parents, either. As part of its latest move, Instagram has upgraded its parental control settings. Now, parents can send their children invites to access the supervision tools, see information on what their children are viewing, and manage the amount of time their children spend on the app.


    [Screenshots by Instagram]


    Nudging Teens To Change Topics


    Social media users have been in long-running debates on the effects of social media on one’s mental health. Instagram understands that although there are many positives and benefits, there can be adverse effects to particular social media usage. Moving forward, Instagram has designed a new ‘nudge’ feature directed toward teens who become fixated on a specific topic for too long. The nudge encourages teens to find new points of interest, in addition to staying away from content related to appearance comparisons. Studies have proven that one in five teens utilize the nudge feature to switch topics helping users become more aware of their app usage². Another study showed that 58.2% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that the nudge encouraged them to become more mindful of their time on social media. 


    [Screenshots by Instagram]


    Updates Take a Break Feature


    Although many smartphones with screentime feature already offer the ability to regulate the amount of time you are active on your phone and schedule breaks for specific apps, Instagram decided to produce their own ‘Take a Break’ component. Instagram originally launched a ‘Take a Break’ feature late last year The newly updated feature will utilize well-known creators and stars to prompt users to take a break. Instagram is capitalizing on the effect, and outreach popular creators have on audiences. When a creator you recognize comes across the screen, you become more aware of what you are viewing during hours of mindless scrolling, encouraging you to take a break. Using top influencers to encourage young users to take a break supports efforts to improve their digital well-being. 


    Written by: Kieara Rios & Shelby Martin

    Image design by: Candace Castillo & Sara Freyre