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New Instagram Feature: “Silent Mode”

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Instagram on Thursday announced a new feature called “silent mode,” which aims to help users focus and set boundaries with friends and followers.

When enabled, all notifications will be paused and the profile activity status will change to “Silent”. If someone sends a direct message during this time, Instagram will automatically send an auto-reply informing the sender that “silent mode” is on.

Although the feature applies to all users, Instagram seems to focus on teens. Instagram touts it as a tool to help study and entice teens to turn on the feature “when spending some time on Instagram late at night.”

The tool will roll out to users in the US, UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, with plans to add it to other countries in the future.

The tool is the latest example of Instagram giving users more ways to manage their usage, after years of scrutiny of how much time people – and teens in particular – spend on various social media apps, and damage this can cause to their mental health. .

“These updates are part of our ongoing work to ensure people have experiences that work for them and have more control over how much time they spend online and what types of content they view” , the company said in a blog post.

As part of this effort, the platform is also introducing features to give users more control over what appears in their Explore feed. For example, it is now possible to tag content with a “Not Interested” tag to prevent similar content from showing up in the future. Instagram is also introducing an option to prevent words or lists of words, emojis or hashtags, such as #fitness or #recipes, from being recommended in the Explore feed.

Instagram is also updating its parental supervision tools. When a teen updates a setting, parents can receive a notification so they can tell their teen about the change. Parents will also be able to see the accounts blocked by their teenager.

In a series of congressional hearings in 2021, executives from Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and Snapchat faced tough questions from lawmakers about how their platforms can drive young users to harmful content, damaging mental health and body image (particularly among teenage girls), and lacked sufficient parental controls and safeguards to protect teens.

Social media companies have pledged to make changes, and Instagram in particular has done a lot. It has since introduced an education hub for parents with resources, tips and expert articles on user safety, and rolled out a tool that allows guardians to see how much time their kids spend on Instagram and fix time limits.

Another Instagram feature encouraged users to take a break from the app, such as suggesting they take a deep breath, write something, check a to-do list, or listen to a song, after a while. predetermined time. The company also said it takes a “stricter approach” to the content it recommends for teens and actively nudges them towards different topics, such as architecture and travel destinations, if they dwell on n any type of content for too long.

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