Instagram tests new feature that allows users to take a break from the app

Instagram is testing a feature that will encourage its users to, well, stop using it. 

“Take a Break” will allow the social media app’s users to get a notification after they spend a certain amount of time on the Meta Platforms Inc. service. The feature is similar to Apple Inc.’s Screen Time tool that tracks and can set limits on how long users spend on apps and websites. 

“Take a moment to reset by closing Instagram,” a sample of the service says, encouraging users to do other things like “take a few deep breaths” or “write down what you’re thinking.”

The feature is “part of a broader effort to try and give people more control over their experience of Instagram,” the app’s head, Adam Mosseri, said in a video posted Wednesday. “Ultimately, you know what’s best for you when it comes to how you use the app and we want to make sure we provide tools for you to shape Instagram into what works for you.”

The trial on Instagram comes as Meta and its platforms have faced a wave of criticism over how users interact with the products. In September, the Wall Street Journal published internal research that showed Instagram made some mental health issues worse for teenagers who use the product.

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