Instagram has confirmed the release of a new “Usage Insights” tool, which will allow users to see how much time they spend on the social media app.
Currently there are limited details as to what the feature will consist of, but the launch of this tool marks Instagram as the latest company looking at how users are engaging, with Google and Facebook already exploring this concept.
The impacts of mobile phone use on mental health, particularly for teenagers, is a concern. A recent study of teenagers in the US found that 48% of those who spent five or more hours a day on their phones—a lot of time by any measure—had thought about suicide or made plans for it, vs. 28% of those who spent only one hour per day on their phones.
How will such features impact social media and mobile phone use? Will it help people manage their time more efficiently? Will it enable more conscious choice with regards to the use of particular apps?
Or is this a tool primarily for platforms to better understand how to attract more users - and advertisers - by further tailoring content?