Instagram is set to introduce a new feature to "nudge" teenagers away from all harmful content and encourage them to "take a break" from the social media platform.
The announcement was made by Facebook's vice president of global affairs, Nick Clegg, on Oct. 10.
Instagram's Take a Break
Clegg made the remarks about the feature on CNN's State of the Union show a week after Frances Haugen, Facebook's whistleblower, testified before the US Congress about internal research that showed Instagram could have a negative effect on the mental health of its young users.
Clegg stated that they would introduce a feature that would make a considerable difference on the platform. He added that their systems see what teenagers are looking at, and it can detect if they look at the same content repeatedly.
The content that the teens look at constantly may not be conducive to their well-being and mental health, and the new feature will nudge them to look at other content and explore other subjects.
Clegg also said that aside from pausing plans for the Instagram Kids platform and giving parents controls to keep an eye on their children.
The social media company will introduce a feature named "Take a Break," where they will be promoting teenagers just to take a break from the social media platform.
Instagram was under fire because of its negative effect on the mental health of its young users.
Clegg did not provide a timeline for the feature. According to a Facebook spokesperson who talked to The Verge, the features are not testing yet but will soon be available.
The spokesperson stated that the platform is exploring the features, pointing to the blog post by Instagram's head Adam Mosseri.
Mosseri stated that the platform is exploring two new ideas. The first one is to encourage people to look at other topics if the system detects that they are dwelling on content that might contribute to negative social comparison.
The second one is the "Take a Break" feature, where users could put their account on pause and take a moment to consider whether the time that they are spending on the platform is meaningful.
Fixing Facebook's Algorithm
Dana Bash, the host of CNN, asked Clegg whether Facebook's algorithm had spread the voices behind the insurrection on Jan. 6.
Clegg said that he could not give a definite answer to the question. Haugen is also set to meet the committee that was investigating the attack.
Clegg stated that Facebook's algorithms should be held accountable. The algorithm should be regulated so that people can match what the systems say that they are supposed to do from what happens.
Facebook has been criticized for the past few weeks, following the report from The Wall Street Journal based on the internal documents that Haugen gave.
A former product manager at Facebook, Haugen, before Congress on Oct. 5 at a hearing that was focused on the company's internal research that showed Instagram could be very toxic, especially for teen girls.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg fought back and disputed Haugen's account, saying that it was illogical for them to push contents that make people angry because they rely on advertisers to make a profit.
Related Article: Facebook to Hold Plans For Instagram Kids Amid Scrutiny
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Written by Sophie Webster