Facebook, Google and Apple are all trying to address the growing concern of tech addiction by building new tools right into their ecosystem. Facebook-owned Instagram is following the footsteps of its parent to build tools that will address the concern and help you spend more time away from the screen.
Instagram app on Android has a hidden code that details the new “Usage Insights” feature revealing the amount of time spent looking at those square-shaped photos on the platform. The code inside the Android version of Instagram was first discovered by TechCrunch and it was later confirmed by Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom on Twitter. Systrom tweeted the feature with the caption, “It’s true.”
We’re building tools that will help the IG community know more about the time they spend on Instagram – any time should be positive and intentional.
— Kevin S. (@kevin) May 16, 2018
In two follow-up tweets, Systrom added “We’re building tools that will help the IG community know more about the time they spend on Instagram – any time should be positive and intentional.” He also noted that time spent online impact people and that his company wants to be honest with the users.
It is not immediately clear whether Instagram will show you the total time you have spent on the application till now or just break it down by shorter time frame like during the day, week or month. The Usage Insights could be startling for a lot of users revealing in-depth numbers including how long you were active on the service and what you actually did during the active time.
It seems Instagram is ready to embrace the impact of the reduction in usage as soon as such a tool goes live for users. Instagram is not alone here. At I/O 2018, Google announced Digital Wellbeing, a new initiative to tell its users on Android the breakdown of time spent using their mobile device. It also confirmed that YouTube will soon include things like usage stats and notification reductions to make it easier for you to stay away from the smartphone.
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It is hard to judge whether these technology companies are really concerned about the well being of their consumers or is it a mere attempt to address the concern among their core users.