How Instagram's new features aim to boost teens' mental health

Instagram's to-be-released features will send a notification to teens spending significant amounts of time on the platform to make users more mindful of their time spent on social media, TechCrunch reported June 14.

The platform will be integrating a "nudge" feature, which will send a notification when a user has been browsing content on a specific subject they may be fixated on. This "nudge" will encourage the user to navigate to a new topic, excluding topics related to body image or appearance.

"We designed this new feature because research suggests that nudges can be effective for helping people — especially teens — be more mindful of how they're using social media in the moment," parent company Meta said in a blog post. "In an external study on the effects of nudges on social media use, 58.2% 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."

Meta plans to incentivize young creators to post content designed to inspire and support the well-being of teens.

Instagram's "take a break" feature, encouraging users to take a break from browsing the application, will be introduced in certain countries this summer.

"This feature is one necessary positive tool to support young people's well-being within the context of healthy social media engagement," Alfiee Breland-Noble, PhD, a psychologist and founder of mental health nonprofit the AAKOMA Project who worked on the take a break feature, said.

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