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Are you a Facebook addict? Now here’s a new feature for you

Nov 21, 2018 POSTED IN BusinessDesignLifestyleTech BY blogger
21
Nov 2018

Facebook wants to help you spend less time on Facebook. Yes, you read that right.

The discovery comes courtesy of developer Jane Manchun Wong. She found code in Facebook’s Android app for a feature called “Your Time on Facebook,” as first reported by TechCrunch. Facebook has since confirmed the feature is in active development, saying “We’re always working on new ways to help make sure people’s time on Facebook is well spent.”

The features will roll out to all users globally within the next couple weeks, save for 1 percent of users who are being held back to allow for comparative testing with the main group, the company said.

To find the new features on Facebook, tap the button with three vertical lines — also known as the hamburger menu — in the bottom-right corner of the app. Scroll down to “Your time on Facebook” and tap. On Instagram, you’ll find “Your activity” inside the settings menu, which you access by tapping the gear icon on your profile.

The dashboard shows you a bar chart of the time you have spent in each app over the past seven days. (Tap on any bar to see the exact amount.) From there, you can choose how much time you wish to spend inside the Facebook and Instagram apps, in five-minute increments.

Once you’ve reached that time, the app will send you a reminder that you’ve hit your daily limit, although you can continue to browse if you like. You can also manage your notification settings from the dashboard, including a new feature that will let you mute them for up to eight hours.

That segmentation would give users a much clearer view of where they’re spending or wasting hours, and what they could do to make their usage healthier. Hopefully with time, Facebook gives the dashboard more nuance so we can track not just time, but time well spent.