What is Instagram’s ‘Take a Break’ Feature for burnt-out users

Instagram is creating a new feature for burnt-out users to take a break from the app – during which time others would no longer be allowed to contact them on the app or comment on their content.

Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, says it’s part of a range of moves to “inspire changes” for the better.

The move to let people tune out from Instagram for a period of time comes amid concerns that constant scrolling on the app is causing people to be unhappy.

Among the other features which are about to be rolled out is the ‘nudge’ – when a user delves particularly deeply on a specific topic, the app will jump in and encourage them to check out something completely different.

But the upbeat news about new features came as the company paused a plan for a kids version of the app.

Taking to his personal Twitter, Mosseri posted a video about the pause to Instagram Kids but said he still believes it’s a good idea.

“It has to be better to give parents the option to give their tweens a version of Instagram that was designed with them in mind. It was designed to be safe for those between 10 and 12. One where there are no ads, where there are parental controls, where there’s age-appropriate content, [and] where they can supervise and shape the experiences in meaningful ways.”

Mosseri further noted that parents can decide how much time they want their children to spend on the app, “who they can follow, and who they can message than the alternative which is to rely on companies like ours to verify the age of people who don’t even have ID.”

Speaking to Craig Melvin of TODAY, Mosseri said: “Parents of kids of all ages are looking for more ways to supervise and control their kids’ experiences online, and so the idea is that we’re going to bring these parental controls as an optional feature to teens everywhere.”

The pause was announced after The Wall Street Journal released a report that alleged that the company was aware of the harm that can occur to teen girls while scrolling the app.

Earlier in the month, The Wall Street Journal reported on two leaked studies from Instagram in 2019 regarding body image issues that arose amongst teenage girls.

Facebook addressed in a blog post noting that it refers to teen girls who already faced body image issues, not every teen girl.

“Body image was the only area where teen girls who reported struggling with the issue said Instagram made it worse as compared to the other 11 areas,” Facebook wrote in the blog post.

They added: “But here also, the majority of teenage girls who experienced body image issues still reported Instagram either made it better or had no impact.”

Later on this week, a Facebook executive is set to testify in a Senate hearing regarding children’s safety on the app.


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