On Thursday, Instagram introduced a new feature called “Quiet Mode” that allows users to control their screen time and notifications on the platform. This feature is designed to give users more control over their digital well-being, especially teens who are often the most active users of the app.
The introduction of Quiet Mode follows complaints by lawmakers and state attorneys general that the photo-sharing app has a negative impact on the mental health of its users, particularly teens. In Congressional testimony two years ago, Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri suggested creating an industry body to set standards for age verification and age-appropriate experiences online. With the launch of Quiet Mode, Instagram is taking a step in the right direction to address these concerns.
When enabled, Quiet Mode turns off incoming notifications, updates the user’s activity status to reflect that they are offline, and sends an auto-reply to direct messages. This allows users to take a break from the constant stream of notifications and content without having to log out of the app completely. Additionally, the feature can also be scheduled for certain times of the day, such as late at night, when the app will prompt users to enable it.
In addition to Quiet Mode, Instagram also launched new features that grant users more control over the content recommended to them and expand parental control tools. Users can now hide multiple posts from their Explore page – algorithmically-curated photos and videos based on a user’s interests – that they aren’t interested in, and hide recommended posts that use specific words or phrases in their captions or hashtags, like “fitness” or “recipes,” so Instagram can avoid showing similar posts in the future.
Instagram’s Quiet Mode will be available to everyone in the US, United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. The company also plans to bring it to more countries soon, providing a much-needed tool for digital well-being to a wider audience. With the introduction of Quiet Mode, Instagram is taking a step in the right direction to address the concerns about the impact of social media on mental health. This feature, along with the other updates, shows that Instagram is committed to creating a more positive and healthy experience for its users.