Instagram — well mostly its parent company Facebook — has been under scrutiny for the past week. First, Facebook’s ex-product manager Frances Haugen gave an interview to 60-minutes detailing how the social media company priorities its profits over people and their sentiments. Then, last week, she presented some documents to the Senators that supported WSJ’s article about how Instagram is becoming a toxic place for teenage girls. Mark Zuckerberg, as usual, denied these claims.
A week after these events, Facebook vice president of global affairs, Nick Clegg, has announced that Instagram is “exploring” two new ideas for the platform. First, Facebook is exploring a system where its algorithm “sees that a teenager is looking at the same content over and over again, and it’s content which may not be conducive to their well being, we will nudge them to look at other content.” The second is called the “take a break” feature that will supposedly allow people to put their accounts on pause. It will allow teenagers to “take a moment to consider whether the time they’re spending is meaningful.”
In addition to the “take a break” feature, Clegg says Instagram is stopping the development of its Instagram for Kids platform.
Clegg says these new features Instagram is introducing will “make a considerable difference.” He hasn’t provided a timeline for when the “take a break” feature would go live. It would take some time it seems as in a response to The Verge, Facebook says it hasn’t even started “testing” the feature yet but says it “will soon.”
“I hear the concerns with this project, and we’re announcing these steps today so we can get it right,” said Clegg in the announcement post.