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Among the many changes Facebook has been making to its apps this year are updates helping to make time spent on the app “time well spent.” The social network kicked off that endeavor in January with changes to its newsfeed that prioritize friends’ posts over news posts. Now, Facebook and Facebook-owned Instagram are adding new tools to help users manage time spent on these apps.
On Instagram, you can now monitor time spent on the app via an activity dashboard, and you can also set a daily reminder of how long you’re allowed to use the app. Instagram also added a new way to limit notifications for specified periods of time, ranging from 15 minutes to eight hours.
To access the new activity dashboard, head into the settings section (access via your profile page) and then tap Your Activity. There, you can see a bar graph timeline of the time you’ve spent on Instagram each day that week. Below that, you can tap to set the daily reminder to get a notification when you’ve spent a certain amount of time on the app. It also has a shortcut to Instagram’s notification settings, where you can now opt to mute push notifications.
In Facebook, you’ve got similar tools to manage time spent on the app. In your Facebook settings, tap Your Time on Facebook to see a similar bar graph on the time you’ve spent on the app by day. Below that, a Manage Your Time section lets you set a daily reminder to notify when you’ve spent a certain amount of time on the app, while a Manage Your Notifications section below that lets you mute push notifications for 15 minutes to eight hours.
“Our hope is that these tools give people more control over the time they spend on our platforms and also foster conversations between parents and teens about the online habits that are right for them,” David Ginsberg, Facebook’s director of research, and Ameet Ranadive, Instagram’s product director for well-being, wrote in a joint blog post.
In an interview with the Verge, Ranadive admitted that the addition of these features may come with a “trade-off with other metrics for the company,” but that’s something they’re willing to live with since it benefits the community as a whole.
As Facebook and Instagram continue to study how people use the app and these new time management features, it’s possible we could see other related tools crop up in the future as well.
H/T the Verge
Christina Bonnington is a tech reporter who specializes in consumer gadgets, apps, and the trends shaping the technology industry. Her work has also appeared in Gizmodo, Wired, Refinery29, Slate, Bicycling, and Outside Magazine. She is based in the San Francisco Bay Area and has a background in electrical engineering.