Instagram starts to keep teenagers away from things they have been consuming for a long time

Instagram starts to keep teenagers away from things they have been consuming for a long time

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.

Instagram starts to keep teenagers away from things they have been consuming for a long time

An external study cited by Instagram indicates that 58.2 percent of respondents “agreed or strongly agreed that nudges made their social media experience better by helping them become more mindful of their time on-platform.” Instagram says its own test of the feature shows a similar trend — over a one-week period, Instagram saw one in five users switch topics when they received a nudge.

“It is designed to inspire kids to find something new and avoids some themes that may be related with appearance comparison,” Instagram states. 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. Tapping into a post will let users scroll through a different stream of content that isn’t related to the topic the teen was previously looking at.

“We want to make sure people feel good about the time that they spend on Instagram… This is a way to softly encourage that,” Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, said in an interview on CBS Mornings. “No matter what topic you’re going deep into, if you’re going particularly deep, we let you know, and we suggest some other topics.”

 

Users will receive nudges no matter what topic they’re scrolling through, harmful or not. “The notification shows up after scrolling on any topic for a number of consecutive posts,” Instagram spokesperson Liza Crenshaw explained in an emailed statement to The Verge. “But, what we include in the recommendations of what to switch to excludes content that may be associated with appearance comparison.”

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