Instagram has launched a new ‘Quiet Mode’ to reduce the number of alerts people see and help users fight smartphone addiction.
Rolling out for users in the UK today, Quiet Mode mutes notifications and sends auto-replies to direct messages (DMs).
It also adds a new ‘in quiet mode’ status underneath Instagram profile names, accompanied by a small crescent moon icon, for others to see.
Instagram users can toggle Quiet Mode on and off in the app’s settings and choose to set a time period for it to activate automatically.
Rolling out for global users from today, Quiet Mode mutes notifications, sends auto-replies to direct messages (DMs) and adds an ‘in quiet mode’ status underneath profile names
How to turn on Quiet Mode
1. Go to ‘Profile Settings’
2. Tap ‘Notifications’
3. Tap ‘Quiet Mode’
4. Switch the Quiet Mode Toggle ‘On’
5. You can then choose the time ‘Quiet Mode’ will switch on using the ‘From’ and ‘To’ options
Users will also receive a prompt asking if they want to turn on Quiet Mode after they’ve spent ‘several minutes’ on Instagram at night.
Quiet Mode is available to users in the UK, the US, Ireland, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, while other nations will get the rollout ‘soon’.
According to Meta, Instagram’s parent firm that’s owned by Mark Zuckerberg, Quiet Mode is especially aimed at teens to ‘focus and set healthy boundaries’ on the app.
‘Today, we’re introducing new ways for people, especially teens, to manage their time and experiences on Instagram,’ it said in a blog post.
‘These new features reflect our ongoing work to build things that are meaningful for young people, and that are really helpful and useful for creators.’
Meta hopes Quiet Mode will encourage users to set boundaries with friends and followers by letting them know they’re unavailable.
According to the firm, feedback has revealed teen users often feel pressured to ‘feel like they need to be available’ through the platform.
Users can tap on the moon icon under their profile name to see when Quiet Mode is set to end
Reducing the number of notifications from likes and DMs will help Instagram users put their devices down (file photo)
Experts list 10 tips to fight phone addiction
Researchers have listed the top 10 tactics to cut smartphone addiction, with disabling smartphone notifications in the number one spot.
Also included in the list is changing the phone display to ‘greyscale’ so the display appears black and white, and disabling facial recognition as a method of unlocking the screen.
A black and white screen makes smartphones ‘less gratifying’ to look at compared to the bright colors offered by app icons such as Instagram.
Studies have already revealed a link between excessive smartphone use and poor mental health, especially for teens.
However, other studies have suggested a lack of phone notifications contributes to a ‘fear of missing out’ and makes people check their phones more.
All Instagram users can find the new Quiet Mode option by heading to Settings, followed by Notifications.
When a friend or follower sends a message to someone in Quiet Mode, they’ll get a reply saying they weren’t notified because they had the tool switched on.
Also, users can tap on the moon icon under their profile name to see when the mode is set to end.
Quiet Mode is along similar lines to a tool called Take a Break, launched at the end of 2021, which sends a prompt to stop using the app.
The prompt says: ‘Want a break? Regular breaks can help you reset. You can now turn on reminders to take breaks when it makes sense for you.’
Users then have the chance to tap ‘Turn on’ or ‘Not now’. If they select ‘Turn on’, they can choose to get reminders to take a break for either 10, 20 or 30 minutes.
Also being rolled out from today is an update to Instagram’s Hidden Words tool, which previously hid offensive DM requests and comments.
Using the Hidden Words tool, Instagram users can hide recommended posts in the Explore that have certain words, emojis, or hashtags in the caption
With the update, users can now hide recommended posts in the Explore that have certain words, emojis, or hashtags in the caption.
Instagram has also given parents more control over their child’s Instagram account, building on a range of features released last year.
Parents will now be able to view their teen’s Instagram account settings, including privacy and content defaults and controls, and will get a notification if their child updates a setting or unblocks someone.
Instagram allows users to set up an account if they’re 13 or older, but between the ages of 13 and 17 there’s the option of parental control.