Facebook and Instagram are finally going to tell users exactly how much time they spend on their apps.
On Wednesday, Facebook announced a series of new features that will encourage users to ensure their time is “well spent” on the social network — from a tool that will notify users once they’ve been on the app for a predetermined amount of time, to a dashboard that records and displays how long users are spending on the app.
The same features are also rolling out for Instagram, which Facebook owns.
The changes have been teased by Facebook before, and they come as the Californian tech company attempts to recover from a string of bruising scandals that have served to intensify the scrutiny over issues like app and smartphone addiction.
In focusing on “time well spent,” the company says it wants to ensure “the time people spend on Facebook and Instagram [is] intentional, positive and inspiring.”
In a meeting with reporters before the announcement, company representatives were asked how the initiative fits within Facebook’s historic drive for constant growth.
Instagram product management director Ameet Ranadive said: “There may be some trade-off with other metrics for the company, and that’s a trade-off we’re willing to live with.”
So how do you find out exactly how much time you’re sinking into Instagram and Facebook? It’s pretty straightforward, and largely similar on both apps.
First, for Instagram: Open up your Settings, and scroll down to the new option “Your Activity.” Click on it, and it’ll take you to a dashboard that shows you how much time you’re spending on the app each day — as well as a weekly average.
From there, you can set a “Daily Reminder” that notifies you when you’ve been on the app for a certain time period in a day. And you can temporarily mute notifications from the app for up to eight hours.
On Facebook, the process is slightly different. Under the menu tab (the one on the far-right of the homescreen that’s represented by three horizontal lines), scroll down and click on “Settings & Privacy.” Then click on “Your Time on Facebook,” and you’ll be taken to a dashboard on Facebook that has all the same features as those of Instagram.
Though the feature was announced on Wednesday, Facebook only said it would be rolling out in the “coming weeks” — so it may not show up for all users straight away.
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