Facebook’s Screen Time-Like Usage Management Feature Officially Announced

Facebook today announced the Screen Time-like tools that will be used by its users in order to help them keep tabs on their usage of both Facebook itself and Instagram, the image-based social network that it also owns.

The aim of the feature is to give users  better understanding of how much they are using both apps as well as allowing limits on in-app time to be set in an attempt to help curb addiction.

This comes as both Apple and Google are adding similar, more granular controls to iOS and Android respectively that will allow users of iPhones, iPads, and of course, Android devices to form a  picture of where they are spending time in their digital lives. The notion of controlling digital addiction is something that is a hot-button topic right now and Facebook is joining the fray, bringing Instagram along for the ride.

Today we are announcing new tools to help people manage their time on Facebook and Instagram: an activity dashboard, a daily reminder and a new way to limit notifications. We developed these tools based on collaboration and inspiration from leading mental health experts and organizations, academics, our own extensive research and feedback from our community. 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.

Accessing the new tools is a simple affair, although the methods do differ depending on which app you are using. Facebook users can head into Settings followed by Your Time on Facebook while Instagram users can again open Settings before choosing Your Activity.

No matter which app you use, you will see a bar chart showing your in-app time as well as the ability to manage notifications in order to prevent excessive usage of the apps.

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