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Instagram will roll out a "Take a Break" feature to encourage teens to step back from the app

By AYIE LICSI Published Oct 11, 2021 3:16 pm

Less than a week after whistleblower Frances Haugen revealed that Facebook knew about how its apps negatively impact teens, the social media giant announced it will roll out new features that will lessen the potential harm for its younger users.

One of the new measures is a safety feature for Instagram called "Take a Break" which will "nudge" teenagers to take a step back from the app.

"Our systems see that teenagers are looking at the same content over and over again, and it’s content which may not be conducive to their well-being," Facebook VP of global affairs Nick Clegg said during CNN's State of the Union. "We will nudge them to look at other content."

Clegg didn't share details about when users can expect the feature, but a Facebook spokesperson told The Verge that the features are "not testing yet but will (be) soon."

Instagram head Adam Mosseri has also previously talked about the "take a break" feature when he wrote a blog post about hitting pause on Instagram for Kids. 

"We announced last week that we’re exploring two new ideas: encouraging people to look at other topics if they’re dwelling on content that might contribute to negative social comparison, and a feature tentatively called “Take a Break,” where people could put their account on pause and take a moment to consider whether the time they’re spending is meaningful," he wrote.

Mosseri also said that the insights from research about teens' experience in the app help them make changes to Instagram.

On the issue of teens comparing themselves to others on the app, the Facebook VP said: “We can’t change human nature. You always compare yourself to others, particularly those who are more fortunate to yourself, but what we can do is change our product, which is exactly what we’re doing."