Instagram CEO confirms upcoming “time spent” Usage Insight

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Usage Insight

Instagram is getting a new ‘Usage Insight’ tool to help users see how much time they’ve spent in the social media app. It is not exactly clear whether it will be the total number of time spent on a short scale like daily, weekly or monthly or it would be on a long scale like yearly or ever which can however prove quite scary to some users who spend a large number of time on the app. Instagram has also prototyped a new commenting interface with a row of quick-add emojis and an @ button for tagging friends.

Instagram CEO, Kevin Systrom confirmed in a series of tweets saying; “It’s true . . . We’re building tools that will help the IG community know more about the time they spend on Instagram – any time should be positive and intentional . . . Understanding how time online impacts people is important, and it’s the responsibility of all companies to be honest about this. We want to be part of the solution. I take that responsibility seriously.”

Some users are looking forward to knowing their Usage time based on sheer curiousity while some users are dreading the movement made by the Instagram CEO. It sounds like Instagram is willing to endure a potential reduction in usage and ad views to be serve the mental health of its community. By being upfront with users about how much time they are investing in their favorite apps and how it can be a detriment to their well-being.

The Usage Insights screenshot and “time spent” code were discovered by prolific app investigator Jane Manchun Wong inside the Instagram for Android application package. She wrote “Be self-aware or be prepared to be ashamed for Instagram addiction”. When asked by TechCrunch for more evidence about how the feature worked, she tweeted screenshot above of Instagram’s code that shows a “slideout_menu_time_spent” element.

The Instagram new commenting interface was one of Wong’s other recent discoveries of unlaunched features, with an Emoji Bar that let’s you add the most popular little icons with a single tap, and an @ button that reminds you to tag a friend.

She also found code showing Instagram prototyping Android notification actions that let you reply to a comment directly from a notification without opening the Instagram app.

With the Usage Insight tool, people can adopt healthier habits and avoid the long, passive, anti-social browsing sessions that can harm their well-being. These features could also help parents keep track of what their kids are doing online.

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