Facebook Now Has a Tool to Let You Know How Much Time You Spend on the Social Network
You already know you’re probably spending too much time on Facebook or Instagram, but if you’re curious exactly how much of your day is being consumed by the platforms, a new tool can help you find out. You may not like the answer, though.
Facebook (FB) is planning a new feature, called “Your Time on Facebook,” which will let you know just how much time you spend liking posts, watching videos, and debating politics on the platform. The feature is slowly being added to most user’s options, with a full rollout expected over the next couple of weeks.
“We want the time people spend on Facebook and Instagram to be intentional, positive and inspiring,” the company said in a blog post announcing the features. “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.”
The feature, at least initially, is focused solely on mobile users and does not appear to be available to users who access Facebook or Instagram via a desktop or laptop computer.
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.
To access the feature, go to your settings page on either app. Instagram users will tap “Your Activity” while Facebook users will tap “Your Time on Facebook.” A dashboard, showing your average time on that device, will appear at the top. Tap any bar to see your total time for that day.
It’s not a perfect system. 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. The company, though, hopes this could be a way to hang on to users who might otherwise terminate their accounts on fears they’re spending too much time scrolling through feeds.