The popular photo-sharing app, Instagram, appears to have quietly removed the feature that allowed users to monitor the time they spend on the platform daily.
This daily time limit feature displays a pop-up notification to the user once their app activity hits their pre-defined time limit, reminding them to be conscious of their screen time and maybe making it easier for them to choose to quit out of the app voluntarily.
However, it seems that the platform’s parent company Meta wants Instagram users to spend more time on the platform, so it can cash in by targeting them with ads. This, as speculations suggest, could be a result of pressure from the business side, given the sudden plunge in share value reported in the company’s fourth-quarter earnings earlier this month.
The disappointing Q4 results could be one reason why Meta’s growth teams may be seeing what levers they can tweak to drive engagement from existing users. Additionally, increasing competition from other popular platforms like TikTok, Apple’s iOS privacy changes and new regulations in Europe, are making it more difficult for the company to track users via personalized ads.
To monitor how many hours you’ve spent on the app, visit Settings > Account > Your activity. Furthermore, users can schedule reminders to take a break at set intervals or sign off after a specific amount of time. While it is possible to retain an existing sub-30-minute time limit, the user can easily be coaxed into pushing their daily limit to a higher threshold.