Instagram Limits Users' Ability to Limit How Much Time They Spend in the App

Instagram has quietly removed the ability for its users to limit their daily usage of the app to less than 30 minutes, reports TechCrunch.

Instagram Feature 2
In 2018, Instagram introduced options in the app to set a daily time limit, with a reminder to be sent when that time limit is reached – useful for those who want to cut down on their social media usage. Originally, users were able to select a time limit as low as ten or even five minutes a day, but selecting such short durations is no longer possible.

Following the latest app update, the "Set daily time limit" menu card pops up and prompts users to choose how long that should be, with a new minimum of 30 minutes, while the radio button next to the maximum of three hours is pre-selected in the menu card, as if to nudge users to choose that limit.

The popup does say the user can keep their existing limit if they wish, but an additional popup on the activity page in the app says the 10-minute value is "no longer supported." Indeed, after the update, users will find the new limits available are now 30 minutes, 45 minutes, one hour, two hours, and three hours.

instagram time limits
Neither Instagram nor parent company Meta (formerly Facebook) has commented on the quietly implemented change, which appears to run counter to Instagram's claim, made in 2018, that it wants to empower users to make intentional decisions about how much time they spend on the app.

The change arrives just a few months after Instagram introduced its "Take a Break" feature that lets users opt into receiving periodic reminders if they've been on the app for long stretches of time. As The Verge notes, when "Take a Break" was in testing, Instagram head Adam Mosseri said that "you know what's best for you when it comes to how you use the app."

The change follows disappointing quarterly earnings reported by Meta earlier this month, which saw the company slash its guidance for the first quarter of 2022 by $30 billion.

Meta partly blamed its weaker performance on steps taken by Apple to improve user privacy by making it harder for platforms and apps to track users across other apps and websites for ad targeting purposes, which Meta said will cost its business $10 billion this year.

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Top Rated Comments

Pakaku Avatar
30 months ago
Fun fact: It is possible to set an even lower daily time limit by uninstalling Instagram
Score: 63 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Onelifenofear Avatar
30 months ago
If you are spending 3 hours a day in Instagram then you need to step back and look at where your life went wrong.
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ian87w Avatar
30 months ago
LOL. The dealer doesn't want to you to stop.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Greenmeenie Avatar
30 months ago
Meta is getting desperate
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TechRunner Avatar
30 months ago
Well of course they made the time limits longer. It's hard to be exposed to two hundred meaningless ads if you're only using IG five or ten minutes a day.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
wanha Avatar
30 months ago
When caring about people conflicts with your business model, corporations will almost always choose the latter.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)