Instagram Notifications Get Less Annoying With a ‘Quiet Mode’

Let’s be honest, We probably all spend too much time on Instagram. Even Meta, the platform’s parent company, knows that the app can be unhealthy for its users. Features have been rolled out in recent months that aim to make Instagram safer for teens — or at least safe enough to prevent regulators from cracking down.

Now Instagram has announced some features that might make the site less time-consuming. The first is a feature WIRED has advocated for: the out-of-office message. With the new setting called Quiet Mode, you can turn off all notifications and even send an auto-reply to anyone who DMs you to let them know you’re unavailable. It’s not quite as consistent as turning off all notifications, but it’s a start. You can also set the sleep mode to a specific length of time. After returning to normal mode, Instagram will show a summary of what you missed. (You’ll have to make sure you return to scrolling at some point.) If Instagram knows the user is a teenager, it’ll periodically send them suggestions about using silent mode, which will likely only annoy them.

Instagram is also getting another feature to make reading less irritating. You can now hide recommended posts on your Explore page, which also helps teach Instagram’s algorithm to show you less of what you don’t want to see. You can also request that you do not see Posts that contain or refer to certain words or topics. Any posts containing your opted-out terms or topics will appear less frequently in Search, Explore, and Reels. (Unfortunately, you still can’t turn off Reels entirely.)

Here’s some more news from the world of consumer technology.

Google wants to find your stuff too

Apple’s AirTags are absolutely boring thing finders. They are also easily exploited tools for stalkers. The simple tracking device is both effective and controversial, and Apple has sold millions of them. Clearly, Google is keen to get in on this game as well.

This week, the rumor mill has been swirling about Google’s potential AirTags competitor. There was no official product announcement, but Kuba Wojciechowski, a developer and regular traitor to Google secrets, did dug up some code this suggests that Google could be working on such a device.

Of course, the existence of a Google tracker is just an educated guess. There are no details on when the device might come out, how much it will cost, or what Google will call it. At the moment it is only known by the codename Grogu. (Yes, that’s Baby Yoda’s name.)

Amazon frown

Amazon has announced that it will discontinue its Amazon Smile fundraising program. In a press release, the company wrote that its program, which works with more than a million charities, was “too thinly distributed.”

While Amazon claims its decision to end Smile is a convenience, that may not be the sole reason. Amazon has certainly felt the financial strain of the upcoming economic slowdown. In recent weeks, Amazon has laid off thousands of employees and cut spending on divisions like its Alexa platform and drone delivery program. Instagram Notifications Get Less Annoying With a ‘Quiet Mode’

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