Instagram is testing a new user wellbeing option called ‘Take a Break’, which will enable users to set reminders to take some time away from the app after a certain period of activity – either 10-, 20- or 30-minutes.
Here’s an overview of the option from friendly automaton Adam Mosseri:
As you can see here, the new option, which some users will be prompted to activate from their feed, enables you to select a time period for a reminder to take a break from the app, which will then also suggest alternate activities you can do to get away for a moment.
Which could get more users to be more mindful about their Instagram engagement, and at the least, serve as a gentle push to disconnect every now and then, rather than getting pulled into content rabbit holes and/or mindless scrolling for hours on end.
The feature builds on Meta’s various wellbeing tools, with Facebook and Instagram both already offering time limit reminders to better manage your time in each app, while Facebook also has a ‘Take a Break’ option for muting individual users whose posts start to get on your nerves.
Facebook also introduced a ‘Quiet Mode’ last year, which mutes notifications, providing another way to take dedicated time away from the app.
Meta spokesman Nick Clegg first flagged the coming ‘Take a Break’ option for Instagram last month, in an interview about the app’s negative impact on teens, as revealed as part of the recent ‘Facebook Files’ leak. In response to concern, Clegg noted that Instagram would be adding the ‘Take a Break’ option, with a focus on young users specifically, while he also said that the app will introduce new prompts to ‘nudge’ teens away from potentially harmful content.
“We’re going to introduce something which I think will make a considerable difference, which is where our systems see that the teenager is looking at the same content over and over again and it’s content which may not be conducive to their well-being, we will nudge them to look at other content.”
In combination, the tools provide more capacity for Instagram users to manage their time in the app – though as noted, both Facebook and Instagram have had time limit reminders since 2018, so functionally it doesn’t add anything, other than maybe some new prompts on such in-stream.
Which then begs the question as to what true value the new option will provide. If users can already do this, then the real push needs to be on how to make people take such action, which maybe these new push notifications will do. But really, Instagram can’t stop you using the app for as long as you want, and not many users are going to voluntarily restrict their time.
So will it really be effective? It’s hard to see this adding a lot to the process, though any updates that can help improve wellbeing are worth testing.
But maybe, this is more valuable as a PR exercise, in response to the claims that Instagram can be harmful to users.
Meta is giving users the tools to better manage such, but it can’t be responsible for dictating your time. You either choose to set limits or you don’t.
We’ll see how many people actually switch on the new alerts.
5 apps for scheduling Instagram posts on iPhone and Android
Alright, we get it. You’re an Instagram Nostradamus.
You know exactly what you want to post and when you’re gonna want to post it. Maybe there’s a meme or comment you want to make that you know will be totally relevant for a future moment or event. Or it could be that you’re an influencer and you want to make sure you keep a steady stream of content coming, so you want to schedule posts for times when you know you won’t be active (or won’t have internet access).
You’ll be happy to know there are apps that are specialized for just such situations. So listen up, InstaNostradamuses…Instagrostra…Instadam…Insta…uh…you guys (we’ll workshop it. No we won’t. We’ll probably just abandon that effort completely. You’re welcome) — these are the Instagram-post-scheduling apps for you.
While all of the iPhone apps below are free to download, they all have some in-app purchases.
We’ll start with “official partner” of Instagram, itself, Planoly — an Instaplanner that uses a grid to let you plan, schedule, and publish posts (as well as Reels) on Instagram. The app also lets you see post metrics and analytics so you can make sure your post didn’t flop.
Credit: buffer / app store
Buffer is another Instagram post scheduler that helps you plan your posts and analyze feedback once they’re published. Use a calendar view to drag and drop posts into days/time slots for easy scheduling.
Credit: preview / app store
Preview offers typical post-scheduling tools and analytics along with a few helpful extras. Get caption ideas, recommendations for hashtags, and more.
Credit: content office / app store
An Instagram post scheduler with a visual boost, Content Office allows users to plan and schedule Instagram posts while learning “marketing and visual guides to grow your brand on Instagram.” Like aesthetics and using visuals to create cohesive themes? Maybe this is the Instaplanner for you.
Content Office is available for iOS on the Apple App Store.
Credit: plann / apple store
You’ll never guess what “Plann” lets you do…
Aside from scheduling posts, get content ideas and recommendations, as well as strategy tips to ensure you’re maximizing your Instagram engagement. Ever wonder when the best time to post something is? Plann can offer you some help with that.
Social networking websites launch features to encourage users to get boosters
From Friday, users will be able to update their profiles with frames or stickers to show that they have had their top-up jab or aim to when they become eligible.
It follows on from people previously being able to show they have had their first and second jabs on certain social networking websites and apps.
TikTok also held a “grab a jab” event in London earlier this year.
I urge everyone who is eligible – don’t delay, get your vaccine or top up jab today to protect yourself and your loved ones
More than 16 million booster vaccines have now been given across the UK.
People who are aged 40 and above and received their second dose of their vaccine at least six months ago are currently eligible to have their booster.
A new campaign advert is also being launched on Friday, which shows how Covid-19 can build up in enclosed spaces and how to prevent that from happening.
Vaccines minister Maggie Throup said: “Getting your booster is one of the most important things you can do to protect yourself and your family this winter.
“It is fantastic to see some of the biggest household names further back the phenomenal vaccine rollout, allowing their users to proudly display that they have played their part in helping us build a wall of defence across the country.
“I urge everyone who is eligible – don’t delay, get your vaccine or top-up jab today to protect yourself and your loved ones.”
How many hashtags should you use to get the most ‘Likes’ on Instagram?
Hashtags are a key feature of Instagram posts. In fact, they have become an essential means of ensuring more ‘Likes’ on social media – so long as you choose them wisely.
But how many hashtags should you use to maximise your popularity on the social network? The answer might surprise you.
It’s a question that many Instagram users ask themselves: what’s the right number of hashtags to add to a post? To find out, the Later platform analysed 18 million Instagram posts, excluding videos, Reels and Stories.
Interestingly, Later’s results differ from Instagram’s own recommendations. According to Later’s analysis, using more hashtags helps get better results in terms of “reach”, or the percentage of users exposed to the post. By using 20 hashtags, Later observed an optimal average reach rate of just under 36%. Using 30 hashtags gets the next-best reach rate. With five hashtags, reach hits just under 24%.
And while a post’s reach is important, engagement is even more so. From “Likes” and comments to shares and follows – on average, 30 hashtags appears to result in better engagement rates: “When it comes to average engagement rate, using 30 Instagram hashtags per feed post results in the most likes and comments,” says Later’s research.
Yet, at the end of September 2021, Instagram advised its creators to use between three and five hashtags for their posts, while warning them against using too many. The social network advised that using 10 to 20 hashtags per post “will not help you get additional distribution”.
For Later, there could be other reasons behind Instagram’s recommendations: “As Instagram continues to expand their discoverability and SEO tools, it makes sense that they want users to experiment with fewer, more relevant hashtags – this could help them accurately categorise and recommend your posts in suggested content streams, like the Instagram Reels feed or the updated hashtag search tabs,” the website explains. – AFP Relaxnews
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