Instagram is trying to direct teens away from harmful content. The platform is adding the new in-app ‘nudges’ after it announced the feature last year. This comes hot on the heels of TikTok’s new digital wellbeing notifications feature. The notifications on Instagram are reportedly designed to help minimise the adverse mental health affects overuse of the platform can have on younger users.
The nudges come in two forms, with the main one being an entirely new notification designed to redirect users away from potentially harmful topics. And we’re not talking about overly zealous ex-boyfriends.
Teenagers in certain countries will see a notification that will encourage them to switch to a different topic if they’re repeatedly looking at the same kind of content on Instagram Explore. “This nudge is designed to encourage teens to discover something new and excludes certain topics that may be associated with appearance comparison,” says Instagram.
The second nudge is a prompt saying “choose what to explore next,” where it takes the teen to a whole different stream with a variety of posts they can choose from.
Take a break, touch some grass
In addition to this, Instagram is also launching updated ‘Take a Break’ reminders, which will feature well-known creators from the platform. This could improve the reminder’s resonance.
Instagram is rolling out the ‘nudge’ feature in the US, UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand first. Hopefully more countries are on the expansion list. We’re sure kids from all over the world could do with a nudge away from potentially harmful content.
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While it’s great that Instagram is making an effort, we can’t help but wonder if these features would have as much focus had whistleblower Frances Haugen not come forward. The data she brought to light towards the end of last year made it rather obvious that parent company Facebook (now Meta) prioritises growth over safety.