Facebook has announced new tools to help people manage their time on its platform and on Instagram: an activity dashboard, a daily reminder, and a new way to limit notifications.
These tools were developed based on collaboration and inspiration from leading mental health experts and organizations, academics, Facebook’s extensive research, and feedback from its community.
In a post, Ameet Ranadive, Product Management Director at Instagram and David Ginsberg, Director of Research at Facebook said: “We want the time people spend on Facebook and Instagram to be intentional, positive and inspiring. 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.”
To access the tools, go to the settings page on either app. On Instagram, tap “Your Activity,” and on Facebook, tap “Your Time on Facebook.” At the top, you’ll see a dashboard showing your average time for that app on that device. Tap any bar to see your total time for that day.
Below the dashboard, you can set a daily reminder to give yourself an alert when you’ve reached the amount of time you want to spend on that app for that day. You can change or cancel the reminder at any time. You can also tap on “Notification Settings” to quickly access the new “Mute Push Notifications” setting. This will limit your Facebook or Instagram notifications for a period of time when you need to focus.
Facebook has a responsibility to help people understand how much time they spend on its platforms so they can better manage their experience. In December 2017, it shared insights about what the team is doing to create experiences that help people connect and build relationships.
Over the past year, a number of tools to help people better control their experience on Facebook and Instagram has also been introduced. On Facebook, the News Feed quality was improved to show people the most relevant posts with features like See First, Hide, Unfollow, and Keyword Snooze. On Instagram, powerful tools to proactively care for the community — like the “You’re All Caught Up” message in Feed, keyword filtering, sensitivity screens, and offensive comment and bullying filters were also launched.
As part of Facebook’s ongoing, global commitment to suicide prevention, it has collaborated with mental health organizations such as Save.org