In a move that went completely unannounced, Instagram has removed the ability for users to set their daily time limit to anything lower than 30 minutes. Now, you’ll be prompted to change your chosen duration if it’s not among the current options—and you may end up losing them for good if you do edit them.
Instagram is among the many social media apps that Meta, Facebook’s parent company, owns. It’s quite popular but often criticized for its negative impact on subjects such as mental health and censorship. This sudden change is sure to be another point of contention against the app.
Instagram’s daily time limit feature was first released to help users track their overall usage time and combat social media addiction. That’s why previous options included 10 minutes and 15 minutes. However, a silent update removed them and the minimum time available is now 30 minutes—with other choices usually being 45 minutes, 1 hour, 2 hours, and 3 hours.
With the interface now displaying “3 hours” at the very top of the list, it really feels like Instagram is pushing for more engagement from its active users—especially since a notification will constantly remind you that you need to change your settings if your previous choice was 10 or 15 minutes. You can still actually keep them, but you must avoid editing your settings to do so.
Instagram confirmed this update via Twitter and said that they’ve “changed the ‘daily limit’ options to avoid sending people multiple notifications at the same time.” This is because their new feature, called “Take A Break,” prompts users to stop using the app for a bit instead of just reminding them that they’ve hit their daily limit.
The two time management tools may clash in terms of notifications but the lack of lower time options and an actual feature that forcibly closes the app to enforce your limit paints Instagram’s intentions in a different light. It doesn’t help that things aren’t going well for Meta lately—from Facebook’s reportedly slow growth during 2021 to the company’s $90 million lawsuit settlement.