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Instagram time

Instagram begins rollout of activity dashboard

Instagram time

Instagram begins rollout of activity dashboard

Photo-sharing platform Instagram has recently started to introduce an activity dashboard that will inform users of the amount of time spent of the site.

The dashboard was announced back in August, with parent company Facebook also broadcasting that it plans to implement a similar feature on its own site. However, nothing materialised from this and it went quiet until now.

Instagram’s new dashboard is known as the ‘Your Activity’ feature, and this will include tools that allow users to set a daily limit on how much time they can spend on the app, and the opportunity to temporarily mute any push notifications they may receive from it. This feature will be found from the hamburger menu icon in the upper right side corner of a user’s profile, and then it can be found under ‘Your Activity’.

Some users may find it useful to know how much time they are spending on the app each day, whereas some may fear it due to knowing they have spent too much time on it.

Instagram and Facebook are not the only companies with the aim of introducing tools and dashboards that inform users of the time spent on particular platforms. Apple has introduced Screen Time for iOS devices and search giant Google is releasing a ‘Digital Wellness’ dashboard with devices on Android version 9.0 that will give users the chance to consider how much time they are spending on social media, and help them better manage their time while on these apps.

The move from many of these social and tech giants comes following plenty of research that connects the time spent on social media apps and other websites with a decline in mental wellbeing. The correlation suggests that the more time spent excessively on these kinds of sites will have a negative effect on mental well-being, bringing on the likes of anxiety and depression.

Although Instagram has now started to roll out the activity dashboard, its parent company Facebook has not yet followed suit, with no word on when Facebook plans to implement its version of a feature to be known as ‘Your time on Facebook’. Both of these features were announced at the same time back in the summer, so this would suggest that Facebook will not be too far behind Instagram in unveiling its version.

With social media users now able to track and limit their time on their favourite sites, will this be a help or a hindrance, and what effect will it have on the social sites themselves?

Alan Littler

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