Facebook’s Newest Feature Tells Users to Get Off Facebook

November 20, 2018, 8:59 PM UTC

Facebook is rolling out a new feature that tracks and tells users exactly how much time they spend on its app, TechCrunch reports.

But if the new “Your Time on Facebook” tool seems kind of, well, old, that’s because its release comes almost four months after the social media giant announced it. (Perhaps developers were spending too much time watching cute dogs on their newsfeed? Which, fair.)

This also comes a week after the company rolled out a parallel time tracker for Instagram.

“We want the time people spend on Facebook and Instagram to be intentional, positive and inspiring,” Facebook said in its blog post that first announced the feature.

The company has used this cautionary language before. Last year, Facebook cited academic studies and internal research in a blog post that stated, “In general, when people spend a lot of time passively consuming information — reading but not interacting with people — they report feeling worse afterward.”

That could be why the “Your Time on Facebook” feature allows users to set time limits on how long they want to use the app each day. Although the app won’t stop working when users hit that cap, Facebook will send them a (mute-able) popup letting them know when they’ve reached their intended limit.

TechCrunch notes that this feature—which users can find by hitting the “More” tab on the app, then going to “Settings & Privacy,” and then clicking on “Your Time on Facebook”—only works on the mobile app. Meaning that while users can track time spent on Facebook on their phone, it will not combine that figure with time spent on Facebook while using a computer.


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