Hidden Code in the Instagram App Conceals a “Time Spent” Tool

An unlaunched Instagram time spent tool is buried in the mobile app’s code and it might make its way to end-users sometime in the future…

Instagram is known as a great escape. It’s right up there with parent company Facebook, and a host of other apps. These digital platforms serve up a lot of information, covering a wide variety of interests. But, that comes with a price. Apps take up a lot of time during the day. In fact, there are so many apps competing for attention, there’s a phenomenon called “app fatigue.”

Instagram Time Spent Data Tool Uncovered

The average smartphone user spends 2 hours and 42 minutes on one or mobile device per day, with 2 hours and 19 minutes accounting for apps. What’s more, smartphone consumers spend 89 percent of media time in apps. Moreover, the average consumer spends 70 to 80 percent of their digital time in their three most-frequently used apps.

Of course, this adds up quite fast. But, it appears Instagram might be gearing up to help users account for their time and better manage their browsing behaviors. Spotted by Manchun Wong, inside the Instagram app for Android, there’s an unlaunched “Usage Insights” tool:

instagram-time-spent-usage-insights
Credit: Manchun Wong

However, Instagram itself isn’t providing any information about the feature yet. So, it’s unknown how it will work. It could display total time spent in the app from initial sign-up to the present. Or, it could serve up particular periods, like a month, week, or day.

This is something of a relatively new movement in the tech world. For example, Bloomberg reported recently Apple is hard at work on a Digital Health Tool. It will show parents their kids’ screen time. While there are already third-party time management apps, such as Circle and Moment, the biggest names seem to be investing in their users’ overall health.

Owen E. Richason IV

Owen is blog content writer, SEO consultant, social media marketer, and website guy. His work has appeared in the Houston Chronicle, on Business.com, Tampa Bay Business and Financier, AOL and numerous other blogs and websites. is also a musician and is the founder of Groove Modes.