The apps who gave you social media addiction are now trying to solve the problem.

It sounds ridiculous when you say it like that, but it’s true. Facebook and Instagram have just launched a new tool which allows users to track the time they spend online and manage it. 📱🕑

‘Time Management’ tool

Owned by Facebook Inc, the two social media platforms will soon be rolling out their newest features to the rest of the world, with the U.S. already taking advantage. The ‘Time Management’ tool comes in the form of a dashboard available through both the Facebook and Instagram apps. There are three main features of the tool, which sounds a little bit Black Mirror when you think about it. I mean, we’re literally placing sanctions on the time we spend scrolling down a phone screen looking at other people’s lives. It’s sad that it’s come to this, really. But anyway, it’s our job to give you the scoop. These three features are as follows: activity tracking, daily reminders and notifications. They’re all pretty self-explanatory but we’ll run through them anyway.

  • Activity tracking: This is where you can see the average time you spend on Facebook or Instagram each day, with a chart spanning across a week. It’ll tell you your overall daily average for the last week, too. Talk about guilt-inducing.
  • Daily reminders: Things get real serious round about now. You can set yourself a daily reminder once you’ve used your chosen app for a certain amount of time. For example, after 25 minutes on Facebook, the app can notify you it’s time to go.
  • Push notifications: It’s a similar sort of concept to WhatsApp and Messenger muting. Turn off push notifications for a set amount of time – 15 minutes, 1 hour, 2 hours, whatever takes your fancy. Great for those late-night, last-minute essays.

Is it addressing the real issues?

We reckon it’s a pretty weird move from Facebook and Instagram, albeit one that could possibly help us to all be a little more present. Why remind your customers that they’re using you too much? According to the company, the goal is to make users’ time online more ‘intentional’ and ‘positive’. No-one can argue with that but maybe it’s skirting over the deeper issues. Why are people getting addicted to social media? Why are users feeling so negative after scrolling? When we start to address the real problems with social media, that’s when we’ll see real change. But for now, we think the Time Management tool is probably a relatively good thing.

Matt Briggs

Matt started out in business and sales and has since built up 7 years experience in project management. Working with a variety of large-scale clients across his career, his knowledge of the digital industry is keeping us all in check here at Limely!