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Instagram’s new tools want to steer teens away from harmful content

Instagram has introduced a new set of mindfulness-focused tools. This time it’s not about pausing the scroll, just switching to a different topic if you dwell on something long enough.

The new feature is aimed at teenagers, keeping them away from content that could be harmful to them. However, users will be notified if they spend too much time exploring a topic, whether or not it is considered dangerous.

Here’s how it works. While browsing the Explore page, teens will see a notification that encourages them to move on to another topic if they repeatedly view the same topic. “This nudge is designed to encourage teens to experience something new,” writes Meta, “and excludes certain topics that may be associated with appearance comparison.”

The company says the feature was designed to help teens be more aware of how they’re using social media at any given time. Meta even cites an external study that explored the effects of nudges on social media usage. According to this study, 58.2% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that “nudges improved their social media experience by helping them become more aware of their time spent on the platform. “. Meta conducted its own research during a week-long test period. The result, they say, is that 20% of teens who saw the nudges actually moved on to a different topic.

After the Take a Break feature, this is another attempt by Meta to appear as if takes care of children’s mental health. Soon there will also be reminders for teens to activate the Take a Break feature when scrolling through Reels for a long time. Additionally, Instagram has added some new parental control features, expanding the scope of parental monitoring. Starting this month, all of these tools will start rolling out as a test in the UK, Japan, Australia, Ireland, Canada, France and Germany. Meta plans to roll them out globally by the end of the year.

[via The Verge]