Instagram’s latest feature is designed to help curb smartphone addiction and doomscrolling, but how many users will ‘take a break’ from their feeds?
Instagram is testing a «Take a break‘Feature that attempts to encourage users to stop scrolling through their timelines. Doomscrolling, sometimes known as infinite scrolling, is the act of scrolling through a social media feed for long periods of time without taking a break. This is not always the fault of the user, with social media apps often implementing an algorithmic timeline that continues to feed content despite the content the user hopes to see come to an end.
More recently, it seems that many social media services are trying to complete the circle. Doomscrolling has only become a problem in the modern world of social media with these companies incentivized to keep users using the app. However, this has also led these same services to recognize that some people, including children, are developing a real problem leaving apps.
The new “Take a break” The feature is designed to remind users to take a break and allows them to determine how often they see notification reminders. Take a Break will be released in the “The days to come” and it will only be available initially to a small number of users. Instagram boss Adam Mosseri Announced the feature on Twitter, explaining that it could launch “Sometime in December” to the general public if the company sees positive results.
“Take a break” test 🧑🔬
We started testing a new feature called “Take a break” this week. This optional control allows you to receive app break reminders after a period of your choice.
I’m excited to dig into the results and hope to release this sometime in December. ✌🏼 pic.twitter.com/WdSTjL6ZdH
– Adam Mosseri 😷 (@mosseri) November 10, 2021
Help to stop scrolling
One of the biggest differences between this feature and built-in options like iOS Screen Time and Android Digital Wellbeing is that even after opting for Take a Break, users can simply choose to ignore it entirely. The popup will have a button to dismiss the alert and allow the user to continue scrolling. In other words, if there is no self-discipline with the amount of Instagram being consumed, it is unclear how successful Take a Break will be. Mosseri said that Instagram will use the comments to make any necessary changes, so the current implementation may be refined in the future.
While this doesn’t take away from the fact that the current situation is a social media self-created problem, it is a much needed feature that should be implemented for all apps, not just social media apps. Smartphone addiction is a real problem and if you spend time on just one app like Instagram or multiple applications throughout the day, many people find it increasingly difficult to put down the phone again.