Instagram launches 'take a break' tool that tells users to get off the app

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Instagram is rolling out several new tools aimed at keeping younger users safe on the app, including a "Take a Break" feature that tells teens to take a virtual time out.

Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram, said the new features empower people to make informed decisions about how they're spending their time and allow parents to get more involved in their teen's experiences on the app.

"If someone has been scrolling for a certain amount of time, we'll ask them to take a break from Instagram and suggest that they set reminders to take more breaks in the future," he said in a statement. "We'll also show them expert-backed tips to help them reflect and reset."

Early test results show that once teens set the reminders, more than 90% of them keep the feature on.

Mosseri said the new tools focus on teen mental health and online safety, which the company has been working on for a long time.

"We'll be taking a stricter approach to what we recommend to teens on the app, we'll stop people from tagging or mentioning teens that don't follow them, we'll be nudging teens towards different topics if they've been dwelling on one topic for a long time," he said.

Instagram is also launching tools for parents to help them get more involved in their teen's activities on the app.

"Parents and guardians will be able to see how much time their teens spend on Instagram and set time limits. We'll also give teens a new option to notify their parents if they report someone, giving their parents the opportunity to talk about it with them," Mosseri said.

Another new feature, expected to launch in March, is an educational hub for parents and guardians that will include additional resources, like product tutorials and tips from experts, to help them discuss social media use with their kids.

"I'm proud that our platform is a place where teens can spend time with the people they care about, explore their interests, and explore who they are. I want to make sure that it stays that way, which means above all keeping them safe on Instagram," Mosseri said. "We'll continue doing research, consulting with experts, and testing new concepts to better serve teens."

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