Social media platforms, Facebook and Instagram, have introduced new tools to help people manage their time on the platforms. One of the new tools, known as the dashboard, is a daily reminder, and a new way to limit notifications. These tools were developed based on collaboration and inspiration from leading mental health experts and organizations, academics, Facebook’s extensive research and feedback from its community.
However, founded in 2004, Facebook has 2.23 billion monthly active users and 1.37 billion daily active users on average worldwide and 26 million monthly active users from Nigeria.
In a post, Product Management Director at Instagram, Ameet Ranadive and Director of Research at Facebook, David Ginsberg, said: “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.”
To access the tools, Ranadive explained: “Users are to go to the settings page on either app. On Instagram, tap ‘Your Activity,’ and on Facebook, tap ‘Your Time on Facebook.’ At the top, you’ll see a dashboard showing your average time for that app on that device. Tap any bar to see your total time for that day.
“Below the dashboard, you can set a daily reminder to give yourself an alert when you’ve reached the amount of time you want to spend on that app for that day. You can change or cancel the reminder at any time. You can also tap on “Notification Settings” to quickly access the new “Mute Push Notifications” setting. This will limit your Facebook or Instagram notifications for a period of time when you need to focus.”
According to him, Facebook has a responsibility to help people understand how much time they spend on its platforms so they can better manage their experience. In December 2017, it shared insights about what the team is doing to create experiences that help people connect and build relationships. Over the past year, a number of tools to help people better control their experience on Facebook and Instagram were introduced.
On Facebook, the News Feed quality was improved to show people the most relevant posts with features like See First, Hide, unfollow and Keyword Snooze. On Instagram, powerful tools to proactively care for the community — like the “You’re all caught up” message in Feed, keyword filtering, sensitivity screens, and offensive comment and bullying filters were also launched.
Meanwhile, as part of Facebook’s ongoing global commitment to suicide prevention, it has collaborated with mental health organizations, such as Save.org. In March, a Facebook safety summit was convened, with more than 100 organizations, researchers, experts and teens coming together to talk about a wide range of topics — from issues of safety and technology, to how tech is impacting our well-being.