New Instagram feature shows users how much time they spend using it

Are YOU an Instagram addict? Firm is testing new feature to tell users how much time they spend on the app

  • Instagram appears to be testing a new ‘Usage Insights’ tool, hidden code reveals
  • The tool would presumably let users see how much time they spend on the app
  • A savvy Twitter user also found code showing a new commenting interface on Instagram, as well as an emoji reaction bar for comments and a quick share tool 
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If you’ve ever been curious to know how much time you’re spending on Instagram, you may soon be able to find out. 

The social media giant appears to be testing a new feature called ‘Usage Insights’ that will show users their time spent on the app.

A savvy user spotted the feature in code hidden in Instagram’s Android app.  

It’s unclear if it’ll be broken down by a particular metric, such as time spent per day, week or month. 

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Instagram appears to be testing a new feature called ‘Usage Insights’ that will show users their time spent on the app. It’s unclear if it’ll be broken down by time spent per day, week or month

Jane Manchun Wong, a computer science student at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, first discovered the features. 

She spotted a string of code that includes the words ‘slideout_menu_time_spent’ and ‘Usage Insights’, which suggests that the tool is still in the works.    

‘Be self-aware or be prepared to be ashamed for Instagram addiction,’ Wong tweeted. 

Based on Wong’s screenshot of the proposed feature, users would be able to access Usage Insights by clicking on the menu button on their profile page. 

Doing so opens a sliding window on the screen that gives users options to check their Archive, saved photos, find new users to follow and, at the bottom, a ‘Usage Insights’ button. 

Instagram declined to comment on the Usage Insights code but said it may have more information soon, according to TechCrunch. 


Jane Manchun Wong, a computer science student at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, first discovered the feature. It was hidden in code for Instagram’s Android app


Wong spotted a string of code that includes the words ‘slideout_menu_time_spent’ and ‘Usage Insights’, which suggests that the tool is still in the works

Wong has a track record of correctly predicting several new features for platforms Facebook and Twitter. 

She spotted Twitter’s end-to-end encryption feature before it was released, as well as Facebook’s new Bitmoji-style avatars. 

In addition to the Usage Insights tool, Facebook also seems to be trialing a new comments interface. 

Taking a page from Facebook, the firm may soon roll out an ‘@’ button that lets you quickly tag a friend, as well as a new emoji bar that allows users to respond with an emoji reaction to comments. 

Other code reveals a new Facebook button that allows you to share your Instagram Stories on its sister platform. 


In addition to the Usage Insights tool, Facebook also seems to be trialing a new comments interface. It lets you reply or like an Instagram comment from the Android notifications center


Taking a page from Facebook, Instagram may roll out an ‘@’ button that lets you quickly tag a friend, as well as a emoji bar that allows users to respond with an emoji reaction to comments

Wong also noted that Instagram seems to be testing a new feature that lets you reply or like an Instagram comment from the Android notifications center without opening the app.

It’s unclear if any of these new tools will ever come to fruition, however. 

By releasing a Usage Insights tool, Instagram would be joining a growing list of tech firms that have begun to focus on how users are spending their time on the internet. 

Last week, Google unveiled a slew of new time management tools for Android at its annual I/O developer conference. 

A new App Timer feature lets users set time restrictions for how long their able to use the app and during certain hours of the day. 

It sets time limits on apps, so that after a certain amount of time, the app icon will go gray and be set to do not disturb.

Similarly, Google’s new Wind Down feature is meant to tackle toxic phone use before bedtime.

ARE YOU ONE OF THE NEARLY 50% OF SMARTPHONE USERS ADDICTED TO THEIR HANDSET?

Worrying research published in December 2017 revealed we reach for our smartphones around 4,000 times a year for no apparent reason.

Each day we unlock our phone 28 times – and over a third of the time this is compulsive and unnecessary.

The apps we crave most are Facebook, followed by WhatsApp, Gmail and Instagram, the survey found.

Experts from Malta-based online casino Casumo.com looked at 2,000 UK smartphone users in order to find out whether checking their device was out of habit or necessity.


The average American clicks, taps or swipes on their smartphone screen more than 2,600 times a day, with some reaching an astonishing 5,400 times

They found more than 40 percent of the 10,000 times users check smartphones each year is ‘compulsive’.

The top ten percent of users check their phones more than 60 times a day. 

More than one in three people think they are addicted to checking their phone with the average user spending nearly an hour each day on their phone.

The survey also found Google Maps is considered the most useful app while WhatsApp and Gmail come second and third.

Google Chrome is fourth and Facebook comes in fifth. 

Users tell Google Assistant when they want to go to bed, and it will switch to Do Not Disturb mode, as well as adjust all the phone’s display colors to greyscale.

All the colors return to the phone when you wake up. 

The firm’s focus on ‘Digital Wellbeing’ comes at a moment when more and more people are beginning to study how often they use technology and its effects on their day to day lives.

Earlier this year, Apple faced criticism from two shareholders that urged the firm to build products with child safety and device addiction in mind.

Additionally, Facebook recently admitted that using ‘passive behavior’ on social media platforms can put you in a worse mood. 

But the social media giant has yet to introduce a time management feature for its own apps.     

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