Instagram is testing telling people to 'Take a Break' from scrolling

Instagram logo on a Galaxy S10
Instagram logo on a Galaxy S10 (Image credit: Joe Maring / iMore)

What you need to know

  • Instagram is testing a new digital wellbeing feature, but it's opt-in right now.
  • People will be prompted to take a break from scrolling, according to Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri.

Photo-sharing app Instagram is testing a new digital wellbeing feature that it hopes will help people "reset" and take some time away from it. The feature, dubbed 'Take a Break,' will prompt people to do exactly that when scrolling through their feeds.

The feature is being tested right now but is an opt-in situation, with people able to avoid it altogether if they like. Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri says that the feature will appear after people have spent a set amount of time within the app — between 10 and 30 minutes, at least right now. These numbers are the result of working "with third-party experts" that have given Instagram "on what tips there should be and how to frame taking a break."

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The upshot of all that is that Instagram will encourage people to take deep breaths, listen to a song, and even do something on their to-do list. Whatever you actually do is up to you, but Instagram seems to at least want it to not be scrolling pictures of cats. At least for a while.

Digital Wellbeing features a big deal right now, with Apple adding Focus mode to iOS 15 and the rest of its recent software updates. Some feel Focus mode is the best iPhone feature that people don't even realize exists, and Instagram's new tests could help people take some time back from the social network in a meaningful way.

Now we need Twitter to help us all out with doomscrolling!

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.