Most social media platforms are taking steps to ensure the digital wellbeing of their users and keeping this in mind, Instagram has introduced a new “Your Activity” feature. The company is now rolling out the new feature that will enable users to track how much time they are spending on the app and alongside viewing the amount of time spent on the app, one can also set daily time limits and there's an option to mute those distracting push notifications temporarily. The options are made for helping users figure out how to limit their usage on the app and can be found in the hamburger icon on the upper right corner of the user’s profile page. We found the option enabled on an iPhone but not on out Android-powered handsets, which suggests that Android phone users might have to wait for some time before the feature is made available for them.
The dashboard in the Your Activity tab is similar to the one used on Facebook. It shows the amount of time spent in the app and it aggregates and displays this the information from the past seven days. Facebook was also supposed to launch a similar feature called “Your time on Facebook” but it hasn’t come to fruition yet. These new tools were initially announced back in August and at the time, Ameet Ranadive, Product Management Director at Instagram, and David Ginsberg, Director of Research at Facebook, said, “Today we are announcing new tools to help people manage their time on Facebook and Instagram: an activity dashboard, a daily reminder and a new way to limit notifications. We developed these tools based on collaboration and inspiration from leading mental health experts and organizations, academics, our own extensive research and feedback from our community. We want the time people spend on Facebook and Instagram to be intentional, positive and inspiring.”
Technology companies have realised how addictive and problematic their services can. There are tons of studies that show how excessive social media consumption can be bad for you. Google was one of the first companies to take initiative and announce an activity Dashboard on its Android P OS at this year’s Google I/O. Apple then introduced Screen Time on iOS 12 and other companies like Facebook and Instagram have now introduced tools to help users monitor as and manage their time on its platforms.