Is there such a thing as doing too much for the ‘gram? According to new reports, the answer is “yes.” A new feature is currently in the works that will tell us when we may be too #addicted and in need of a break from our weekly #tbt, #fbf, and #ootd posts.
Per TechCrunch, a “Usage Insights” dashboard was first discovered by Jane Manchun Wong, a prolific app investigator, inside of her Android app. She took to a tweet stating, “Be self-aware or be prepared to be ashamed for Instagram addiction,” She also provided the below screenshots of the sidebar as depicted on her device in addition to a “time spent” code.
Image via TechCrunch
Image via TechCrunch
Instagram CEO, Kevin Systrom, has since officially confirmed the update taking to Twitter to retweet the link to TechCrunch’s report adding, “It’s true.” In a follow-up tweet, he also said, “Understanding how time online impacts people is important, and it’s the responsibility of all companies to be honest about this. We want to be part of the solution. I take that responsibility seriously.” The key to this? Building tools to help the IG community better understand where they spend their time and that their engagement is “positive and intentional.” Of course, the tradeoff with providing users with this information is a dip in overall usage including ad views.
What has yet to be revealed, however, is whether this dashboard would show total time spent on Instagram since the creation of a user’s account (#scarythoughts, am I right?) or whether it would collect data for designated snippets of time such as day, week, month, or year.
Regardless, it isn’t far-fetched at all for the app to take after it’s parent company in encouraging users to move away from passively browsing the platform and instead use it actively to fuel meaningful relationships.
At its recent F8 event, Facebook, for example, announced a number of new features and services devoted to this purpose including a dating service and a Messenger app clean-up including removal of the game tab and camera.
Google, at its own developer conference, I/O, provided an overview of its own efforts to help users cut back on their idle screen time. One of the major changes involves a new dashboard to Android P that tracks a user’s usage such as how many times they’ve unlocked their phones, how many notifications they receive, and how long they spend on their downloaded apps.
The difference between screen time that divides and screen time that unifies is an important topic as of late. In particular, social platforms are under increased pressure for creating a mass of “filter bubbles” that result in mindless media consumption and shut us off from the perspectives and communities that surround us. For this reason, individuals and businesses alike are calling on these platforms to take responsibility for their role in society and strengthen communities by helping users connect with those who share similar interests and values and facilitating more face-to-face encounters.
For more on this topic, join us at one of our global flagship conferences where our theme for 2018, “Closer,” will explore the tension between community and individualism and how social media companies are responding.