Facebook and Instagram introduce time management tools

Facebook has introduced a suite of tools to help people manage the time they spend on Facebook and Instagram. The tools include an activity dashboard; a daily reminder and a new way to limit notifications. They are rolling out “soon”.

In a blog post, Ameet Ranadive, product management director at Instagram, and David Ginsberg, director of research at Facebook, said the tools had been developed based on collaboration and inspiration from leading mental health experts and organizations, academics, the company’s own extensive research, and feedback from its community.

They wrote: “We want the time people spend on Facebook and Instagram to be intentional, positive and inspiring. 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 tools are accessed in the settings page on both apps. On Instagram, tap ‘Your Activity’, and on Facebook, tap ‘Your Time on Facebook’. This brings up a dashboard showing the user’s average time for that app on that device. Tap any bar to see the total time for that day. Below the dashboard, users can set a daily reminder to give themselves an alert when they have reached the amount of time they want to spend on that app for that day.
The reminder can be changed or cancelled at any time. Users can also tap on ‘Notification Settings’ to quickly access the new ‘Mute Push Notifications’ setting. This will limit their Facebook or Instagram notifications for a pre-determined period of time between 15 minutes and eight hours.

“It’s not just about the time people spend on Facebook and Instagram but how they spend that time,” the blog post continued. “It’s our responsibility to talk openly about how time online impacts people – and we take that responsibility seriously. These new tools are an important first step, and we are committed to continuing our work to foster safe, kind and supportive communities for everyone.”