Addicted to Facebook, Instagram? New tools to help reduce time spent on these apps

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg earlier this year had disclosed that the time users spent on the network had reduced by 50 million hours every day. The company is now looking to further help users control the time they spend on the social networking platform with a new feature, tentatively titled “Your Time On Facebook.”

As the name suggests, the feature will provide information about how much time users spent on the platform each day in a week, along with the average time spent on the site per day. The new feature will also offer users the option to set a daily time limit as well as a link to manage their Facebook notifications, TechCrunch reported.

“We’re always working on new ways to help make sure people’s time on Facebook is time well spent,” a Facebook spokesperson was quoted as saying by TechCrunch.

According to the report, Facebook claimed that the feature is in development, although it would not say when or even if it would be launching for all users.

Instagram’s self-monitoring tool
Not just Facebook, Instagram is also adding a similar feature to help reduce the time spent on the photo and video sharing network. The feature will provide users insight on how many hours they’ve spent on the app as well as allow users to set a daily reminder once they’ve reached the time they set for themselves. One can also set a Do Not Disturb mode to disable the notifications altogether.

Confirming the imminent launch Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom said in a tweet, “It’s true . . . We’re building tools that will help the IG community know more about the time they spend on Instagram – any time should be positive and intentional . . . Understanding how time online impacts people is important, and it’s the responsibility of all companies to be honest about this. We want to be part of the solution. I take that responsibility seriously.”

Digital wellbeing: The new buzzword
Previously, companies such as Apple and Google have rolled out features to keep a tab on the time people spent on their computers and smartphones.

Google at its I/O Conference 2018 introduced a new initiative called “digital wellbeing” which aims help users with multiple tools to control the time they spend on their mobile phones. Google is baking all these new tools into its upcoming Android iteration, Android P. It is also rolling out the tools to different applications. YouTube recently added a “Take a Break” feature.

Apple also joined the bandwagon with its iOS 12, which was unveiled at the WWDC 2018 conference earlier this month. The latest Apple software allows users to control the time spent on the applications, similar to Google’s Android P features.

“This self-policing could be important since both iOS and Android are launching their own screen time monitoring dashboards that reveal which apps are dominating your attention and can alert you or lock you out of apps when you hit your time limit,” the TechCrunch report added.

(With inputs from IANS)


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