After announcing a new project last year to “nudge” teen users away from hazardous content, Instagram has announced that the feature is now available in the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. If a kid spends too much time on Instagram’s Explore page looking at posts with a specific theme, the app will notify them that they should look at other types of posts instead.
“It’s designed to inspire kids to find something new and avoids some themes that may be related to appearance comparison,” Instagram adds. Users will receive a notification prompting them to “Choose something to explore next,” as shown in an illustration of the functionality, with a range of posts to choose from instead. Users can scroll through a distinct stream of content after tapping into a post that isn’t relevant to the topic the adolescent was previously looking at.
According to an Instagram-cited external survey, 58.2 per cent of respondents “agreed or strongly agreed that nudges improved their social media experience by assisting them in becoming more attentive of their time on-platform.” Instagram claims that its own test of the function revealed a similar trend: one in five users switched topics after receiving a nudge over a one-week period.
Instagram is also working on a more interactive version of its Take a Break tool, which encourages teens to spend time outside of Instagram. Suppose a teen has been scrolling through reels for a while. In that case, the platform is testing reminders to turn on the Take a Break feature — the reminders will display reels from creators like @foodwithsoy, @abraxaxs, and @mayasideas, suggesting they may appear in line with other reels rather than as a separate notification. The functionality is presently being tested in the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, with intentions to roll it out globally “later this summer.”
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