Facebook and Instagram users can now limit how much time they spend using the app

Facebook and Instagram users can now limit how much time they spend using the app

Facebook and Instagram will soon give users the ability to see how much time they’re spending online.

The new time management feature was revealed on Wednesday and will soon be rolled out. This feature will help users to see how much time they are spending in the apps and will send out reminders when it’s time to take a break.

The features include a time management dashboard, breaking down how much time you’ve spent in the app over the last week. If you want to limit the time you spend using the app you can set up reminders which will send you an alert when you’re close to a pre-set time limit.

According to the two companies, the overall goal is to help Facebook and Instagram users ensure their time in the apps is “intentional, positive and inspiring.” The company started with research which has shown that people who use social media more passively are more likely to get a negative impact from it.

Social power

"We want to empower people to make their own decisions around what's an appropriate amount of time to spend and how and when they want to engage," says Instagram product management director Ameet Ranadive.

It’s unclear as to whether these upcoming features will have an impact on users’ behaviour. If an individual is genuinely struggling with a social media addiction, they will have a hard time following any form of time limits.

However, the features don’t really do anything to prevent you from using the app for long periods of time, the longest time you can mute notifications for is just eight hours and there’s no app lock to stop you accessing the applications when time limits are reached.

Facebook has stated that it has worked with researchers who study social media and its impact on users’ wellbeing, the company has not shared any information that suggests that having access to the type of information from this feature leads to any changes in behaviour.

As these new features are introduced, Facebook is also sharing other features in both apps that are aimed to keep users more engaged and to spend longer periods of time within in the app.

A new video hub called Watch was introduced to Facebook for long-form video content and are investing into this. This was followed by the launch of IGTV by Instagram, which allows creators to post videos up to an hour long.

It looks like Facebook are trying to cater to everybody, both those who can’t get enough of the apps and those who are looking to manage their time online more efficiently.

Staff Writer