Instagram released a new feature on Thursday called Quiet mode that allows users to silence notifications, much like an iPhone’s “do not disturb” setting.
According to a news release, Quiet mode will allow users to better manage their time and limit their time on the app each day. While it’s available to users of all ages, the app will specifically prompt teens after a certain amount of time using the app late at night.
The release does not specify how long it will take to send that prompt, but Meta spokesperson Liza Crenshaw said that it would be sent after “several minutes,” per The Verge.
The new setting will turn off notifications and send an automatic reply in response to direct messages while it’s in use.
According to The Verge, other users will be able to see when you’re in Quiet mode, and when you reopen the app, you’ll get a summary of the notifications you missed.
As of Thursday, Quiet mode is available to users in the U.S., United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
What other features did Instagram roll out?
Instagram also introduced a feature that allows users to filter the content they see on the app, per CNBC.
Prior to this update, users could filter their direct messages based on content they didn’t want to see, but now they have the opportunity to manage their feeds on a micro level.
The new filtering capabilities can weed out posts with certain words in their captions or hashtags, making it possible for users to limit the amount of sensitive or potentially triggering content.
According to a 2021 Wall Street Journal report, “Thirty-two percent of teen girls said that when they felt bad about their bodies, Instagram made them feel worse.”
The report also said that comparison affects young women’s perception of themselves.
Posts that contain words regarding weight and weight loss can be especially harmful to people who already struggle with these topics.
The report claimed, “We (Instagram) make body image issues worse for one in three teen girls.”
It went on to say, “Teens blame Instagram for increases in the rate of anxiety and depression. This reaction was unprompted and consistent across all groups.”
The negative effects on users’ mental health, specifically on teenage girls, have ignited widespread criticism over the company’s practices.
Since the 2021 report, The Verge reports that Instagram has begun to make changes that better protect its younger users, including restrictions on advertising to younger users and improving default content settings for teenagers.
Instagram also rolled out a new feature that enables users to hide multiple pieces of content on their Explore page, which the app will subsequently “aim to avoid showing you”.