Whether you want to know this information or you would really just rather not, Instagram is rolling out some insights to let you know how you’re spending time your time while using the app. Earlier this week reports on TechCrunch said tech gurus had discovered code hidden in Instagram’s Android app that suggests a “Usage Insights” feature that will show users their “time spent”. Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom then went on to confirm the speculation in a tweet linked to an article confirming the update.
“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,” Systrom tweeted.
— Kevin S. (@kevin) May 16, 2018
Instagram seems to want to help users—that’s you—understand whether your time spent in the app is being used positively, as a procrastination tool, or possibly something more sinister. Interestingly, it seems as though Instagram is comfortable with users possibly spending less time with their product if it means supporting mental health in a meaningful way. Anyone who’s felt crappy after losing an hour in a vacuum of #bikiniselfies and envy-provoking #eurotrip snaps can understand why a tool like this might be a useful way to hold yourself more accountable for how you use your time.
They’re not the first tech company to get into the time spent category: you might remember that Google released new time management tools last week. And while we don’t really know what the feature will look like, it does signify an important change to the way internet companies encourage their users to interact with their (arguably addictive!) platforms.