Instagram will soon show you just how addicted you are to the app

Are you an Instagram addict?

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Are you an Instagram addict?
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Pixel.la/Flickr

  • Instagram is planning a new feature that will show people how much time they spend on the app.
  • The new feature was uncovered by computer scientist Jane Manchun Wong, and confirmed by Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom.
  • More tech companies are trying introduce time management features to fend off criticism that they encourage people to spend too much time on their phones.

Are you an #Instaddict?

Instagram is working on a new feature that will show users just how much time they spend with the app, in a wider effort from tech companies to get people to look up from their phones.

The new feature was originally discovered by Jane Manchun Wong, a computer scientist with a record of reverse engineering popular apps to uncover upcoming features. Wong’s find was first reported by TechCrunch, and confirmed by Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom on Twitter.

Wong dug around in Instagram’s code and found a feature seemingly known internally as “time spent.” This is seemingly visualised on the app as a sidebar feature called “Usage insights.”

You can see her full thread and what the feature looks like here:

There’s no further detail on what the “Usage insights” feature will actually show, like your overall time spent on Instagram, or whether it just shows a limited time period of a month or a day.

Systrom simply tweeted “It’s true” when TechCrunch first reported the story.

The new feature follows Google introducing time management controls for Android, with a new dashboard that lets users set how much time they want to spend on each app. When they use up their allotted time, the app will gray out on their phone screen.

Apple has similarly promised better usage controls for children, but has yet to deliver.