Facebook, Instagram to introduce time-management tools

Facebook, Instagram to introduce time-management tools

Facebook, Instagram to introduce time-management tools

The tools will be found in the settings page of Facebook and Instagram under the headers "Your Time on Facebook" and "Your Activity" respectively.

Similar to what we've seen from Google and Apple over the last couple months, Facebook just announced new tools coming to the Facebook and Instagram apps that are created to help you use them less. The app only tracks usage by device, so if you check in on multiple devices a day, it'll be harder to track just how much you're using either tool.

If you find that Facebook is consuming too much of your spare time, the social network is also offering tools to help you curb usage, including alerts when you've spent more than a set amount of time on either app and daily reminders of how much time you spent browsing the previous day. The company hopes they can give users more control over the time they spend on its social networking apps and "also foster conversations between parents and teens about the online habits that are right for them".

Laura Randall, the NSPCC's associate head of child safety online, said: "Facebook and Instagram state they want to ensure their platforms are safe but to do so they need to tackle serious problems within their sites".

What's not clear, though, is whether these features will actually have any impact on users' behavior. If someone really is struggling with social media addiction, they'll likely have a hard time following any self-imposed time limits. You can also easily mute push notifications from within the new "Your Activity" panel to prevent those enticing mentions from showing up on your lock screen.

Facebook's new time-management controls. Facebook says it's rolling them out "soon", but didn't say when and where they'll be available exactly.

That Facebook's first attempt at limiting users' time in their apps is underwhelming isn't necessarily surprising. These features run directly counter to Facebook's core business, which for years has relied on aggressive growth tactics to attract more users and lure them to spend more time in their apps.

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