Facebook and Instagram are now adding dashboards on their platforms to tell you how much time you have spent on the social apps. The dashboards will also have tools that will help you set daily limits on the time you can spend on these platforms. The new feature also allows users to temporarily mute all notifications. The feature on Facebook will be called “Your Time on Facebook” while the one on Instagram will be called “Your Activity.”
According to Facebook, the new features are designed to address social media addiction that has a negative effect on people’s wellbeing. The dashboards will be released today and should be available to all global users by the end of next week. For most of us in the tech world, we are not really surprised. This is a move we expected especially when screenshots of these new dashboards appeared online about a month ago.
So, how do you access the new tools? If you are on Facebook, simply tap the button with three vertical lines at the bottom right corner on your screen. Scroll down and you will see a new button titled “Your Time with Facebook.” Tap it and you can choose your options from there.
As for Instagram users, go to the settings menu. You will find a new feature there titled “Your Activity.” Tap it and select the options you want. The dashboard will present a bar chart that shows you how much time you’re spending on Facebook daily. If you’re not happy with what you see, you will get a chance to change things by setting your daily limits.
Facebook has come under criticism over the last year for how aggressively it takes the attention of people all day. In fact, the social media company acknowledged late last year that interactions with Facebook’s feed could make people feel bad. The company cited academic research on this. Other tech giants too have taken measures to give users control over the amount of time they will spend online. For example, Apple and Google introduced these features on both Android and iOS systems. The tools were created to help people know how much time they were spending on their phones and get options on how they could limit this.
Instagram and Facebook are confident that the new dashboards will help people consume social media content in a healthier way. The two companies say that even though such tools could reduce overall usage on their platforms, the wellbeing of users has to be a priority. It will be interesting to see how users will adapt to the new dashboard. Most people who spend too much time on social media may not even know it and are definitely not aware it’s a problem they need to take care of. However, the notification mute could be quite popular though. It may offer a chance for people to focus on other things for a few hours before they return back to their phones to see what’s new on their accounts.